I got a lovely parcel in the mail today—my Bead Soup for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party—all the way from Indonesia. It was left by the door while I was dropping the kids off at school and daycare, so I had a lovely quiet house to unwrap it, oohing and aahing to myself as I took photos.
My partner, Jane Pranata Lim, lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. She sent me a wonderful selection of Indonesian goodies, and a few bits and pieces she made herself as well. It all arrived in a batik-patterned box.
First of all, the focals. Not just one, but three! The most amazing is a wooden batik mask pendant. Then there is also a heart shaped pendant with batik motifs. And a stainless steel pendant of a “gunungan”—a symbolic representation of an ancient tree motif. Alongside the three focals above is a piece of pretty batik fabric wrapped by Jane with copper wire. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll use this as part of a bracelet or in a necklace, it could go either way.
The clasp is something I believe that Jane made herself, a copper toggle clasp. I can’t believe it though, I missed taking a photo of the clasp! I’ll take one tomorrow and edit this post, as I really want to get it out there tonight.
And then there are the beads! A selection of different shapes of wooden beads with batik patterns. And a long strand of Java Gudo beads, glass beads from Indonesian bead shop Manik Jawa, owned by another Indonesian bead souper, Lili Krist.
I am really looking forward to working with this bead soup! I love the colours, so different to my normal selection, but so vibrant and exciting! The mask is fantastic, and I’ll write more about the mask style in a later post. Funnily enough, I have always had a thing for masks, and over the years I have collected quite a few of them, from Indonesia, from Venice, from New Orleans, although I don’t have them displayed right now. Thank you Jane!
Now, would you like to see what I sent Jane? She has received her soup now, so I can show you:
I built this soup around the “Bollywood Daisy” toggle clasp and matching connector, which was made by Queensland-based ceramic bead-maker Natalie Fletcher-Jones (Peruzi). I added a polymer clay pendant focal made by Barbara Bechtel (Second Surf Studio), which was the perfect shade of yellow, and a second clasp in bright brass as well as a few tiny brass leaves. And I completed the soup with a selection of colourful beads in coordinating colours. Clockwise from the top left are flat rectangular Czech glass beads in white, purple and yellow, then some smooth organic nuggets of West German glass in yellow and purple, a selection of Czech glass faceted rounds and smooth drops in amethyst lustre, a strand of tiny Czech glass rounds in amethyst shades, and in the bottom left is a mixture of glass beads (might be Czech but I’m not sure) in yellow, purple, green, pink and blue. Finally, I wrapped the package with a length of green sari silk (not shown).
Jane and I will be unveiling our creations on 13 April, so make sure you come back to have a look at what I make then!