Monday, December 22, 2014

Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading

Many months ago I saw a post from Karen Williams over on her blog Baublicious. She was looking for beaders to work on freeform projects, including taking pictures through the process so she could featuring them in her new book Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading.

I am pretty new to freeform beading, having only created a handful of designs. I thought, "sure I could work on a bracelet."  But then after talking to Karen she asked if I would be willing to create a necklace since so many people submit bracelets for freeform designs. 

I had never done a necklace, and I was just so unsure of how I would design something with such a large canvas in a freeform style. 

But then inspiration hit. I had been home visiting family in Oregon and stopped into a local glass blowing studio called Fern Hill Studio that I've mentioned a few times now on the blog. The pieces of glass I bought were cast offs from large glass pieces made at the studio like vases and bowls. But the little snips of glass I thought were perfect for cabochons. The owner let me buy a bag full of them! 

What I wanted to do with my little pieces of glass was to create a piece inspired by the bubbles that form in the surf along the Oregon coast. The waves there are rough and crashing creates a bit of foam along the shore. I love how the water swirls in the surf around the bubbles floating right next to the water's edge.

I did share a lot of photos with Karen as this design was very organic to say the least. I had an entirely different final piece in my head. I thought I'd create a short collar necklace, but it just didn't hang the way I wanted and I ripped it out. I switched to beading around brass rings, which also overwhelmed the pattern. In the end I went with a simple braiding of sari silk in a fishtail pattern. It felt more like the sea to me.

There are lots of other artists in Karen's book, and full of ideas, designs and instruction on freeform beading. It is a beautiful book that does not disappoint; including some of Karen's signature beaded sculpture pieces that are truly stunning. Be sure to check it out!

14 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

A brilliant idea and you've executed it stunningly!

Duni said...

Oh wow!! Cynthia, your piece is magnificent! I love how you created swirls around those bubble beads :)

Linda Younkman said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous piece Cynthia. I love the thought process behind the piece as well. Fantastic job and congrats.

Maryanne said...

This is gorgeous, Cynthia! I love freeform and I've done several necklaces and your piece is fantastic! I love the colors and you certainly caught the idea of the bubbles in the surf!

Karen Williams said...

I hadn't realized that this was your first freeform necklace! You did such a beautiful job and I have had several people comment on how particularly helpful they found the description of your process.

Miss Val's Creations said...

This piece is so gorgeous Cynthia! I love the "bubble" effect. This one belongs in a museum :)

Caron Reid said...

Stunning - you are so incredibly talented with your multiple skills - love this design, congrats on the book!

BeadedTail said...

Wow! That is stunning! The thought of doing freeform gives me the hives so once again you amaze me!

Christine Altmiller said...

I am not supposed to be here! I am supposed to be in the kitchen baking and cooking. But I am procrastinating. Spending time with Antiquity, Karen, and bubbles seems like time very well spent! Seeing this beauty as a work in progress and now done, it is easy to see why Karen wanted it in the book! It is bubbly and soothing and unique ~ all good things!

Liz E said...

Now I'm going to be dreaming about finding that gorgeous necklace washed up on the beach. You have captured the ephemeral nature of surf foam/bubbles perfectly. When I look at your necklace I can hear the ocean waves and see the water sparkle. You nailed it!

Becky Pancake said...

Cynthia your necklace is absolutely fabulous. You captured the bubbles perfectly.

Bobbie said...

I was so excited to see your work in Karen's book, and the story behind it is wonderful. It's such a lovely rendering of soft bubbles at the shore. Beautiful!

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow, wow, wow! Absolutely stunning! Merry Christmas ;o)

Doug van Dyke said...

I looked at your piece and thought, "Sea foam." Then I scrolled over to keep reading (I'm on my iPad) and see a pic of sea foam. Mission accomplished! Love the organic forms! So many pleasing places for your eyes to rest!

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