Sunday, January 26, 2014

CC7A :: National Gallery of Canada

Just before Christmas Alicia of All the Pretty Things asked a group of us if we'd be interested in coming together to share beads and create as a team: The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists (CC7A).

First up in our group of seven is Monique of A Half Baked Notion who gave us the theme of a current exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada. She was inspired by this exhibit to create a polymer focal blending the look of wood with an artistic flower in the center. 

This particular exhibit features a unique mix of artists, architects and artisans, or more specifically how their work and styles blended together from 1890-1918 in Canada. Quite a unique collection. During this time of Canada's history they were moving from agricultural colonies to an industrial nation which included a demand for new buildings both civic and domestic. The building boom created a growth period where artists and architects worked together to design and decorate their towns and their homes which introduced the idea of combining painting with architecture in design. It is a beautiful example of Canadian Arts & Craft period, a style of architecture that is my absolute favorite and which I use for my own home. You can read more in an article by the National Gallery of Canada Magazine.

I pulled a few examples from the exhibit to give you a flavor of the works (numbered left). (1) 1904 Oak Sideboard by Jeremy Adamson a piece that as William Morris, founder of the Arts & Craft movement, said is “characterized by a return to simplicity of design.” (2) 1897 book binding (book of Ruth & Esther) for Will Bradley which is tooled, gilded and colored cow skin from Nova Scotia. (3) 1906 mural painting by Gustav Hahn; many of the artists were commissioned to paint for the new Toronto City Hall and Parliament Buildings. (4) 1912 sideboard from the main dining room of the Legislative & Executive Building at Regina, Saskatchewan built by Edward & W.S Maxwell. (5) my favorite ... a 1900 Arts & Craft piano! Built by Reid Brothers Manufacturing in Toronto. The piano is stained oak with three oil paintings. I would love to own this one for sure.

I used Monique's wood & flower focal with a design I recently saw from Erin Seigel's in Stringing called Glistening Garland. While I used Erin's technique of tying beads in clusters, I did put my spin on it (because I can never seem to follow directions!) I changed it up with beaded fringe around the focal. I thought the hemp used for the stringing and the sway of the fringe reminded me of the old book binding above (#2 picture from the exhibit). For anyone else that would like to try Erin's design, you'll find it in the Winter issue of Stringing and is quite easy to follow.

As a bonus, Monique included a second polymer focal with a mosaic heart. I took the opportunity to practice my chenille stitch for Christine & Therese's A Time To Stitch #4 Challenge. Chenille has become my favorite new stitch and I seem to be using it non-stop. I've already made several necklaces, and a bracelet (you'll see the other pieces posted on my ATTS post).

Once I finished this chenille chain for the heart necklace I went in search of a very loving home for it. And I found it with Christine's youngest daughter; just look at that sweet smile. She was wearing it for her recent piano recital where I hear she did an amazing job wowing the audience. Rock on Lanie! 

And now to see what the rest of the seven artist's created please visit: Alicia (our host), Christine, Emma, Monique, Sally and Therese.

30 comments:

Linda Y said...

Great pieces Cynthia. What a fun idea. I really like the way you mimiced the colors in the heart in your chenille rope. What an awesome piece.

Linda Y said...

Great pieces Cynthia. What a fun idea. I really like the way you mimiced the colors in the heart in your chenille rope. What an awesome piece.

Kathy Lindemer said...

The piece with the chenille rope is beautiful. I love the colors and design.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Cynthia,

Love the knotted necklace it is totally your style and really highlights Monique's unique pendant. I read about the about the National Gallery of Canada and found it very interesting, but did not put any of it's information on my blog just the link. I am so glad that you told a little about the rich history of Canada's Artists. I enjoy the Chenille stitch also, but you my friend have mastered the stitch and it is beautiful with Monique's heart pendant, it looks great around Lanie's neck.
Therese

Duni said...

Oooh...that heart focal is gorgeous! Lucky Lanie! The necklace suits her perfectly :)
Love the bohemian feel of your creation at the top! My favourite is also the piano :)

NEDbeads said...

How utterly fabulous! I love BOTH of your creations for completely different reasons - the first one is so earthy and grounded, and the second is light and airy and cheerful! I love the idea behind this group, and I can't wait to see what you put together for the challenge! I've had lots of fun hopping around this morning!

Alicia said...

I was looking forward for your 'research' piece on Canadian art and architecture :) I absolutely love both your pieces: the knotted hemp on the first one showcases Monique's focal perfectly (I love how you used the large wooden ring for a clasp!); while the chenille is fluid and lovingly showcasing the heart - Christine's daughters are two lucky young ladies! Now each has one of your beauties :)
Thanks for being part of the Continuum!

Christine Altmiller said...

Lanie wears this several times each week~she LOVES it! And she seriously looks like she is yours instead of mine! LOL. The necklace is even more beautiful in person...you embraced that chenille! Beautiful! Your other focal piece has such a great casual beachy vibe and is a wonderful piece all around~love that fringe! Thanks again for treating my kids so kindly :-)

Maryanne said...

I love both necklaces! They are so different but they show off the focals so well. The knotted one is great, I love that the beads are knotted in clusters. And, the beaded on is beautiful with that polymer heart. Christine's daughter is lovely and it's perfect for her!

Sally Russick said...

Lanie looks to be the perfect model for the heart necklace! Beautiful.
The multiple strands of knotted hemp beautifully balance Monique's pendant! A gorgeous representation of innovation!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Cynthia, every stop I make this morning is a thrill and an inspiration! Starting with the wonderful selection of Gallery designs you selected for your collage (and that piano is to die for, I agree), you have made this challenge your own :)

Fiber and seed beads intertwined are the perfect earthy embodiment of this period of change in the young country of Canada (we only achieved independent rule in 1867). Your design seems to connect the old way with the new, the rural with the urban. So lovely with such amazing movement!

I am always SO stunned when I see your beautiful bead-woven ropes, and this is no exception, Cynthia. The colours you chose, the dramatic alternate pattern at the bail... such a wonderful design to match the mosaic heart. I love the fact that you gifted it to a beautiful, talented friend; I am sure Lanie will treasure it :)

Thank you so very much for taking my little pendants "under your wing", Cynthia, and being part of a wonderful experience this beginner will never forget!

Janet Bocciardi said...

The chenille stitch looks to be perfect with the lovely mosaic heart! Just love that one and Lanie looks quite pleased, too. Now they both have a piece from you. :-)

I'm not sure I would've known what to do with the polymer focal, as it's not a color I work with much, but I really like your result. Looks to be a fun piece to wear.

Mama Zen said...

Both are stunning!

Dolores~CraftyD's Creations said...

I really like how light and airy your first necklace is. It just works so perfectly with the roux wood heart.
Lanier is one lucky gal to get your second necklace, that looks so perfect for her.

A Polymer Penchant said...

I just went in search of a photo of the music box that goes along with the piano. The piano is great, but the music box is really wonderful... Perhaps because the way they were displayed I could get a heck of a lot closer to the music box. (I didn't find a photo so have asked on the Gallery's fb page :))Your first necklace is so joyful, I love the texture of the fringe and the colour blocking of the design. I love the story of your heart necklace, so sweet and so very elegant.

Becky Pancake said...

Cynthia you have a very unique style. I am always awed by your designs and this time is no exception.

Bobbie said...

I always love how you use the art history inspiration to create your pieces -- the first necklace is really a lovely reflection of the works in the exhibition. But that heart necklace? It was beautiful anyway, but the fact that you gifted it to Lanie makes it magic. Gorgeous piece imbued with generous spirit.

Magic Love Crow said...

Nice to see some of my history from Canada ;o) Gorgeous furniture! Both of your necklaces are stunning!! Such a precious gift, the heart necklace! Her daughter looks so cute ;o)

Memories for Life said...

Beautiful pieces. I love the wood/flower look together. And that mosaic heart is so neat...great piece and Lanie looks so pretty wearing it :)

Caron Michelle said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, it was interesting to hear the story behind the bead. Great design.

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

There is so much to comment on here-wow! I absolutely love the "openness" of your necklace-that focal is stunning! The heart necklace is just beautiful and seed beaded chains are my favorite! So nice of you to gift it!

Now, as for that piano....what a work of art with sound, too!

Miss Val's Creations said...

The museum pieces are awesome! I'm in love with that book binding! That is an art we don't really see much of anymore.

Your pieces are wonderful as always. The heart with the chenille stitch is so perfect for the season. Christine's daughter looks so beautiful with it on.

Shel said...

First - these pieces (jewelry) are fabulous, as usual! Christine's daughter looks so pretty and happy wearing your necklace! Love the Canadian pieces you've featured - wow - I wouldn't mind a couple of those in my home, either. Great post!

Additionsstyle said...

What beautiful pieces your created Cynthia, the heart with the chenille stitch is lovely! I bet the museum exhibit was fantastic, I love the Art&Craft style as well.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

ania said...

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Patty Woodland said...

This didn't show in my feed or I missed it! I just adore that heart necklace! And it looks so very sweet on its new owner.

Lady Lilith said...

Nice pieces. The heart looks really pretty with its new owner.

BackstoryBeads said...

I love the simple form of the flower in Monique's pendant and that you let its delicate colors inspire your light and airy necklace. The perfect treatment. (And I'd have to fight you for that piano - I'm thinking an afternoon at its keyboard trying out some Debussy would be heaven!)

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Kim Tate said...

Wow those pieces! Beautiful!






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