Saturday, February 6, 2010

January page completed

This year I decided I wanted to do pages that were completely encrusted (or nearly so) with beading. I made my format much smaller than last year, so I would have time to complete them. Looks like I should have made it even smaller... ;-)

I often enjoy breaking the boundaries of established conventions of artistic practice. In art historical discussions, we often speak of "framing" an identity, a position, an aspect of interpretation. In my artistic practice, I often focus on the artificial division of art and craft, and in having objects going beyond the bounds of the ultrasuede, I am visually breaking the frame imposed by the limit of the piece of fabric, as I do with the boundary between art and craft.

I love the kind of arguments one can make in interpreting something! How's that for a lesson in analytical art history.

A note on the choice of colours I made: since the origins of this form were originally found to have been carved into rocks, as paleolithic petroglyphs, I decided to try to give this page a stone coloured treatment. I find it curious that so often stone is imaged as being solid grey, while in reality, it is often multi-coloured, with particles of many hues, including a preponderance of pink, especially in granite. So pinkish it is...

I wanted to hint at the carved nature of petroglyphs, so the delineation of the labyrinth is mostly closer to the surface of the fabric. The metallic pathway would be the curved, and somewhat polished surfaces that occur as the carving is being done, and the random other beads are the unaltered surfaces.



I think for February I'll choose a somewhat simpler meditative subject...

12 comments:

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

you really put a lot of thought into how this stone carving would translate into beads. love the colors and textures. job well done!

Barbara said...

Oh my gosh, what a tremendous undertaking and achievement! It's perfect for what you had in mind, and you have achieved your intended image beautifully. In an effort to learn beading techniques, I have a question please -- did you backstitch beads (if so, how many at a time?) or did you couch-stitch strung beads to the ultrasuede??

Magpie Sue said...

Well done! That is an impressive piece of work!

Carol said...

It is beautiful. You conveyed a vision of stone perfectly. As a stone/rock collector I concur that you usually don't see grey stones unless they are limestone. I often look at stones I pick up along the way and notice the beautiful colors peeking back at me.

Great piece.
Carol

flyingbeader said...

Lovely...oh I wish I could see it with my own two eyes to see the magic colors instead of with a computer screen. dot

Sweetpea said...

This turned out just wonderful, especially your use of color for the feeling of stone...that REALLY works...and I love the way the beads come off the edges! Question: what is the size?

I know it took you longer than you wanted but boy, was it worth the effort!!

Holly B said...

Just as I thought, a treat for a two-sided brain! And thanks for the great analysis. It will be interesting to read your answers to all the new questions.

Robin said...

Just as in your previous post, I find myself wanting to trace the path with my finger tip right on my computer screen. I'm glad you explained about the colors, about the carving in stone... it's even more lovely knowing that. Off the edge, the spaces between and outside the imposed limits are such wonderful places to explore with art! Great discussion of that concept!

Robin A.

Joanna L. said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. Here are a few specific responses (gee, isn't this formal...):

To answer your question, Barbara, I backstitched all of the beads which specifically follow the path of the labyrinth. As for how many I did at one time, it depends on how tight the curve was. There are points where I was putting on a single bead at a time, and then there where other parts where I was putting on as many as ten, because the curve was gentle, and I was following a curving line of beads which had already been applied.

The part which is the recreation of the uncut stone is partly the application of single beads in the same manner. The other beads were large enough that I wanted them lying on their sides, and tacked them on by coming up through the hole of the large bead, going though a very tiny bead, then passing back through the center of the large bead, so the tiny bead holds the large bead in place.

That's probably as clear as mud...

To Sweetpea, I went with 3.5" square this time. Last year was 4.5" x 3.25". It's funny, looking at the measurements written down, they don't look to be that different, but when I put them side by side they are... Maybe I'm just tired.

Robin, I totally concur. I have to say that's one of my favorite things to do with beaded pieces of any type, is to run my fingers along it, whether it's to follow a path, as in this case, or just to feel the way the beads move, and the tactile texture they create when they're brought together in a particular way. I'm trying to restrain myself fro doing too much of that with this one, because I would wear the finish off the metallic ones... :-(

Oh, well. It's good practice for the eyes! ;-)

Terri said...

Great subject! I like the playing with texture as well. Very nice beginning!

Kali said...

Very beautiful -- it's a pathway my eyes want to spend a long time wandering. :) I am a lifelong rock collector, and I find the color of stone endlessly fascinating, so I particularly enjoyed looking at your piece. I'm trying to figure out how to use the stones I've collected in my own work, but you've got me thinking that perhaps I should spend more time thinking about recreating their textures and colors with beads. I look forward to your February work!

Bobbi said...

This is so beautiful! An outstanding piece of Art!