Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Waterhole Dreaming necklace: AJE Component of the Month

Art Jewelry Elements is one of my favourite beady blogs, with a focus on beautiful handmade beads, pendants and other components. Last month, I was fortunate enough to be picked to receive one of Rebekah Payne‘s speckle beads for the AJE December Component of the Month giveaway. The beads immediately reminded me of the dot paintings created by the Aboriginal people of central Australia. Inspired by these paintings, I requested one of the beads in the brown/white/reddish-orange colourway, as these are the colours typically used. I forgot to take a photo of the bead prior to using it, but here is a (slightly blurry) closeup.
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Dot paintings, like other Aboriginal art forms, generally tell a story about events in the Dreamtime—the mythical time of the ancestors and the events that shaped the landscape. The dots form symbols representing places or events, which together tell a story about a journey or an important event. I looked for some dot paintings that I could use in this blog post, but try as I might, I couldn’t find any suitable examples in the public domain. This site and this site both have some good examples of Aboriginal art as well as explanations of the iconography if you’d like to see some good examples and read more about it.

Anyway, a pattern of dots in concentric circles typically represents a meeting place, a campfire or a waterhole, which inspired the name of the necklace I designed using Rebekah’s speckle bead. After much contemplation of my bead stash, I dug into my small collection of Krobo beads from Ghana, which had both the colours and the patterns to complement the focal bead. I also found some small Indonesian recycled glass beads in reddish-orange and white, which my parents brought me back from a trip to Bali a couple of years ago. In keeping with the organic feel of the beads I knotted them on chocolate brown waxed linen, and finished with a small plain brass toggle clasp.

Waterhole necklace Collage

Thank you Rebekah for the opportunity to work with one of these lovely beads, it’s been a fun challenge! I’m looking forward to seeing what the other participants come up with. Take some time to visit the other blogs to see what they have made:

Guest Designers:
Ann – Bead Love
Melissa – Bead Recipes <– you are here
AJE Team:
Kristen – My Bead Journey
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Beads

Poppies—Art Bead Scene September challenge

Flora by Arcimboldo

When I saw the inspiration painting for Art Bead Scene’s September challenge—Flora, by Giuseppe Arcimboldo—I was blown away!  The painting is stunning, a portrait composed entirely of flowers. Although it was painted more than 400 years ago, it looks like something from a 20th century Surrealist artist.

From Art Bead Scene, some information about the painting:

About the Art

Flora is one of Arcimboldo’s most famous paintings, painted at the same time as Vertumnus, when he was at the height of his career. Although his work was forgotten after his death, over the last 100 years it has grown in popularity to be included in many contemporary forms. This particular painting was used as the 2009 cover for the album “Bonfires on the Heath” by the English pop band The Clientele.

About the Artist

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian Renaissance painter known for his intricate paintings, which combined inanimate or found objects into a portrait that would resemble the portrait subject. At the age of 22, Arcimboldo received a commission to paint stained glass windows, and later received other commissions to paint frescoes and design tapestries for Cathedrals in Spain. In 1562, he became the court painter to Ferdinand I of Vienna, and later for Maximilien II and his son Rudolph II of Prague. At this time, he was also employed as the court decorator and costume designer.

Serendipitously, I had just purchased a polymer clay pendant from Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio that was perfect! I paired Rebekah’s Poppies in Bloom pendant with a Czech glass blend from Etsy’s Beads by C, antique brass chain and clasp, and some sari silk ribbon to make my Poppies necklace.

And here is a closeup of the focal pendant. Lovely isn’t it!