Yeah, I know... you don't have to say it.
Sorry for not posting more often here on the blog, but I really have been busy in the studio, really.
This time, I've been getting ready for Bead Fest Philly!
So, I hope everyone's summer has been going great and you've been able to spend some quality time with the family. I know that I've been fortunate to do so most of July. Summer will be coming to an end soon and that's when the show season ramps up. I'm looking forward to all the upcoming shows.
In the meantime, I did promise in the last post that I would write a bit about the inspiration and development of the new Botanical series. I won't be able to update the website's online catalog until September so you'll just have to trust me that I've been diligently working hard in the studio. It's always a challenge to work in front of a hot torch in the summer months but the new series and experimenting with colors have enticed me daily.
Before I show and tell you all about the Botanical series, I want to take a few moments to thank all the wonderful beaders that visited me at the San Diego Bead Society Bazaar. It was fun to catch up with old friends and make new connections. Part of my joy in exhibiting at bead shows, in particular bead society bazaars, is that I get to see so many creative folks wearing their lovely creations. I get most excited when I recognize designs from Bead Romantique or a design from one of my bead articles. It is so nice of beaders to drop by the booth and proudly show me what they have created. It is even more exciting when I meet a new beader that expresses their joy in learning beadwork.
I am currently taking a well deserved break from writing and designing beadwork for publication but I hope everyone continues to look forward to the remainder Beadwork Designer of the Year projects. Two more are yet to be published!! After busying myself in writing and designing for magazines and my book for the last three years, I somewhat "neglected" my glasswork. Many glassy ideas were placed on the back burner of "to do's" until I had more time to develop them. This is why I was so very excited when the Botanical series came to life after my writing commitments were completed. Yay!
It has been several years since I have wanted to create this series. I have mulled over the technical aspects and challenges of the creation in my mind, spent countless hours dreaming consciously as well as subconsciously in the execution, and as usual, a design never comes to realization until it's time. And it was time... this July.
So here's the story...
When we purchased our home in 2002, one of the requests I made to my husband Nick was to have either plum or cherry blossom trees planted in the front garden. Not to disappoint, we planted two plum blossom trees. Although the trees are still quite young, this Spring (May) they blossomed beautifully. (see below)
Can you see above why I love plum and cherry blossoms? They are stupendously gorgeous.
The Chinese view the plum blossoms as both a symbol of winter as well as a harbinger of spring. Because the tree blossoms in the winter in China, it also serves as an example of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. The Japanese, on the other hand, believes the plum blossom “Ume” as a protective charm against evil and traditionally plant the tree in the north-east part of the garden, from the direction where evil is believed to travel. Interesting tidbits of info...
Below is a sample photo of the first batch of plum/cherry blossom inspired Botanicals. The floral shaping is inspired by the blossoms from my tree above, but since I love to play with color and I know beaders like me do as well, I've since created these Botanicals in a myriad of colors. The photo only shows a smidgen of available colors. And since I've been busy in the studio for the last 2.5 weeks, there will be over TWENTY (20!!) colors available for Philly Beadfest attendees. As colors become standardize, I will add them to the website's online catalog. For now, the Botanical series is only available at shows.
I like to use a 6mm Swarovski margarite in the center, as shown above. Soon, when I have "free" time, I shall design a beaded collar with these flowers to give you further design ideas. In the meantime, at shows you'll see a wirewrapped rendition with five Botanicals. These plum/cherry blossom inspired Botanicals are exactly how I envisioned them and finally after more than two years of thinking about making them... here they are! These flowers range from 0.75" to a little over 1"... just about quarter sized but less than half dollar. I didn't want the flowers to be too large and I think these are perfectly sized for beadwork. What do you all think?
I'm excited... and these fingers are itching to bead but I can't ...
Not yet, at least...
Prepping for shows come first as beading is a rare luxury these days.
You will also see a connection of the Botanical series with the next Beadwork Magazine Designer of the Year project coming up in the Oct/Nov issue. I won't spoil it for you folks but you will be able to connect everything later.
P.S. Btw, many of you have asked why I do NOT teach beading in a classroom setting. One of the prime reasons is that beading is my hobby. If I start teaching beading then it will become "work" and may make beading less fun for me. That's a risk I am not ready to make just yet. A girl's gotta have some fun, so for now I don't teach.
Until next time, stay creative!!