You all may know that Karen is the reigning queen of freeform, and for good reason. Have you seen her work? There was one piece she showed on her blog as a work in progress that I just could not wait to see how she finished called: Messages in a Bottle. Yep it is in here, And yep, it is as amazing as I thought it would be. But I'll let you guys all run over to Karen's blog to get a preview from her.
I thought instead that I would give you a second peek at some of the work in the book. Aaaaaand, since I already shared with you one of my featured pieces, I asked Karen if instead of talking more about me (which of course is fun and all) it would be ok to give you all a peek at someone else in the book: Bobbie Rafferty.
I could gush all afternoon about Bobbie's beadwork, and was thrilled when Karen said it would be great to give a shout out on her piece. But what I really wanted to know was the story behind the intriguing face? And so I asked Bobbie, and she told me that it was something a friend gave her years ago who owned a bead shop where she taught. Where she of course also frequently shopped ... what self respecting beader could hold back if you just happened to be in the shop teaching?!
Her friend bought several of the faces, but people weren't buying as the light purple tint on the profile seemed challenging? So her friend handed one to Bobbie and said "do something with it." Bobbie certainly did! But she did confess that it took her 10 years to finish, LOL. This baby went back and forth across state lines and was part of a pack up and move, then rediscovery before it was complete.
Bobbie told me her inspiration was the sea. She said ....
"She just always looked like a mermaid or sea nymph to me, and the color of her face was the soft pinkish purple you find inside a shell. I had tiny shells from the beach, which I thought I could weave in, but getting the needle through the natural lengthwise hole formed by the swirl of the shell was impossible. I was afraid that they were too delicate to drill a hole into. So even though I swore everything would be stitched around the face, glue became my friend in making the hair. After that, I completed the bezel, made some ruffles to imitate waves and seafoam, started expanding the freeform."
I can imagine that this piece lured many to pick it up, and Bobbie said she sure did ...
"Once she was finished, she was always front and center in my display at shows, serving as a great lure for passersby into my booth. She was in an exhibition at the Kentucky Artisans Center. I wore her to a couple of events. And then at one show, she went home with a charming lady who fell in love with her."
There are just so many wonderful pieces to pour over in Karen's book. And it isn't all just eye candy (which I know we all love). She's also got lots of instruction on stitches. and she makes it a point to show how artist bring their pieces together. Anyone who has tried freeform has likely struggled a bit with it - at least at first. It feels messy, and there aren't any instructions. So getting a sense of the thought process can be very helpful when you're trying to find your freeform style. Karen really covered a lot of territory in this book!
I hope you'll take the time over the next few days to stop in and visit the other artists on the book tour. Oh and there is a drawing too! Just hop around to the blogs and comment. Each comment (per blog) counts as an entry in the drawing (a total of 8 for each participating blog). Karen will announce the winner on her blog Saturday January 24th.
Book Blog Tour and Launch Party