by Celia Martin of Walla Walla, Washington
I first started beading on vases in the spring of 1997. I had seen a bottle with an abstract decoration in “Creative Bead Weaving” by Carol Wilcox Wells (great book!), and decided to try something on my own. I tend more towards structured designs rather than abstract, although “Seafoam” & “Fuschia Froth” are more abstract in design. The inspiration for each piece varies -- some leap out at me when I see a vase or jar, some from seeing some beads & thinking “That would look just perfect on...”. I pick up vases here & there -- antique stores, flower shops, thrift shops. etc. One I picked up from a glass foundry in Seattle on a visit there. I'm always on the lookout for promising shapes. Some sit & “marinate” in the back of my mind until I hit the right idea. Most don't come from a pattern. I make it up as I go along, and sometimes rip it out several times before the pattern is set.
I have been beading for about 5 years or more, gradually increasing my “repertoire” from earrings, bracelets & necklaces, to zipper pulls, business card cases, an amulet purse, decorative embellishment on garments, etc. in addition to (and sometimes combined with) counted cross-stitch & sewing. I also learned pearl knotting this year, and now do the knotting & re-stringing for a local jeweler. I'm working full-time as a secretary in an insurance office, and this is what I do with my spare time. I feel that sometimes the best creative endeavors come from “I wonder what would happen if I tried this...”
I started out with beading for personal adornment & gifts, and its
expanded to occasional sales & special orders. Now my vases and
card cases are being shown at the Fenton-Stahl Gallery here in Walla Walla.
Sales have not been overwhelming, but gratifying. I know that two
vases found new homes in Massachusetts. I'm delighted that others
find my work worth buying -- it also keeps me from being hip-deep in finished
work and helps support my “habit”. It's kind of like a litter of
kittens -- you love each and every one, but are happy to find them loving
Now for the individual items...
“a la Faberge” (shown above)
Pointillism was a style of art that came from France in the early 1900's. George Seurat is probably the most famous French artist that painted in the style of Pointillism. The idea behind Pointillism was to create a painting using dots of paint. Seurat used basic colors to create optical mixes when you stood back from a painting. Optical mixing meant that by putting two colors close to each other, you would get another color. For example, putting dots of pure red next to yellow would look like orange when you stepped back from the painting - your eyes would mix the colors! Seurat's paintings are often times very large. When you get close to his paintings, you can almost count all the dots! But if you stand far back from his paintings, you see the shapes of people, animals, plants and BOOM...it's not just just dots but a picture!
The picture above was done using markers to create the effect of Pointillism. Try making your own Pointillism "painting" by first drawing very lightly the outline of a scene using a pencil. The details of your drawing can be put in with markers. The drawing above shows animals waiting for their turn in the circus tent! Next, start working on your drawing using the only the point of markers. You can be like Seurat and use only a few basic colors, or you can use lots of different colors like the example shown here! Whatever you choose, enjoy your new way of making a picture!
Hint: You may want to draw a smaller picture (half the size of your paper) than usual since coloring with dots takes a very long time!
Written by Carolyn S. Nehring, The Head Bead, Eclectic Etc., Inc. Beads and Supplies and publisher of Etcetera.