TBS Bag of Beads

So we held our annual reveal at our February meeting. For background, each year members can purchase one of 100 bags of beads that contain beads in a variety of shapes and sizes in a chosen colour palette along with a non-bead stumper object. Participants bring their completed work to show and explain. There is an amazing breadth of stunning work and creative ideas. Go to www.torontobeadsociety.org and click on the gallery of past BoB projects and prepared to be inspired!

Last year I created a cigar box purse that recreated Van Gogh’s Starry Night in bead embroidery. This year’s colour palette had a very St Patrick’s Day look. But I didn’t want to go there overtly, and I wanted to make another cigar box purse.

I woke up in the middle of the night one day in mid-January and realized that I wanted to attempt to recreate shibori silk in copper sheet. I woke up and got right to the experiment and it turned out really well. Once I bent the finished sheet to fit the box, the ends looked like mermaid tails and I remembered a medallion I had resined a while back that featured two mermaid-like creatures. I immediately thought of Celtic mermaids called Silkies and the concept fell together. I beaded the copper “shibori”, then glued it to stiff felt and completed the piece with the remaining beads, throwing in three different four leaf clover shapes for luck.

I beaded around the Silkie medallion and added it to the opposite side. The bag was painted with black gesso and shined up with a coat of Mod Podge, then I created a handle with leather cord in kumihimo through which I wired some of the beads as well. I affixed it using screw and nut rivets.

I loved how the project turned out and I always enjoy the creative process of trial and error, experimentation and discovery. This process is essential for an artist every day and I strive to do this in everything from cooking to writing to making my jewellery and everything in between. It keeps me happy, fulfilled and excited to be alive. Oh and I learn from this approach every day, even when I, especially when I, screw up. Which happens more often than not. As they say, it’s the journey that counts. 


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