Learn To Bead

At Land of Odds / Be Dazzled Beads – Beads, Jewelry Findings, and More

Posts Tagged ‘bead art’

Loom Work of Douglas Johnson

Posted by learntobead on July 1, 2010

LOOM WORK
Of Douglas Johnson
http://www.douglaswjohnson.com/index.html

The loom work of artist Douglas Johnson is breathtaking and very large.     If you’ve ever worked on a loom, creating Large pieces can be quite a challenge.   Many people sew panels together, and you can always see the seam.    Others create larger and larger looms and strategies for managing large projects.    This is what Douglas Johnson has done.

“I first came in contact with seed beads in 1970. At first I strung them into necklaces using different patterns of color. I loved the colors and was soon shown how to weave them on a loom.

Being a guitar player at the time I decided to make a guitar strap out of beads. So I built a long loom and started weaving a strip of beads to be sewn onto leather. As I was weaving this long strap, I thought it would be nice to get wilder and make a scene out of beads. Imagine a house and barn or even a little village.

So I built a loom that could hold four strips in a row, each strip was 25 beads wide (like my guitar strap) so I ended up with a piece 100 beads wide. I wove each strip separately and sewed them together when they were done.

It was not until 1990 that I figured out how to connect the rows on the loom ending up with a solid piece when taken off the loom.”

Advertisements

Posted in bead weaving | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Proving “Beads” Can Be Made Of Anything

Posted by learntobead on June 26, 2009

Jennifer Maestre Sculpture
www.jennifermaestre.com

This bead artist cuts off the tips of colored pencils, top drills a hole through them, and bead-weaves them together in these awesome sculptures.

maestre1

From the Artist’s statement:

My sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion.

The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials. Quantities of industrially manufactured objects are used to create flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils are common objects, here, these anonymous objects become the structure.

maestre2 

There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.

To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together. The beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch.

maestre3

I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology. In fact, it isn’t easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. Sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I’ll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction.

I started off in the direction of prickly things when I was in my last year at Mass College of Art. It all comes from one idea I had for a box with a secret compartment that would contain a pearl. The box would be shaped like a sea urchin, made of silver. In order to open the box and reveal the secret compartment, you’d have to pull on one of the urchin’s spines. The idea was of something beautiful, sculptural, but that you wouldn’t necessarily want to touch, and that also held a secret treasure. I never developed the small-metals skills to ever make the box, but it got me thinking about that kind of form. I started experimenting with different materials to make urchin forms. I found that nails, pushed through window screen, worked well, and I could use many different types and textures and colors of nails.

maestre4

After graduation, I didn’t have the facilities to do glass, so I kept playing with the nails and screen (very low tech), and gradually started working larger, adding zippers and other elements. Continuing with the container theme, I started making the tack-coated eggs to place inside the nail baskets.

The eggs were so beautiful on their own, as well, that I decided to open some of them up, putting little windows in, for example.

While I was doing that work, I was also dabbling in bead work. I taught myself several beading techniques, especially peyote stitch, which is great for creating sculptural work.

I was constrained a bit with the nails, because I couldn’t get all the turns and twists I wanted. I loved the textures and the contrast between the industrial qualities of the nails and the organic forms of the sculptures, but I wanted more complex forms. I was also thinking about how bad the liquid rubber probably was for my health.

So, I experimented with other pointy things and techniques, and finally hit on turning pencils into beads and sewing them together. Using this combination of technique and materials allows me to retain all the qualities that I want in my work, with the potential for more variety of form.

Posted in beadwork | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Legacy of Maharaja of Baroda

Posted by learntobead on March 13, 2009

You need to check out the beadwork and jewelry at this link:

http://www.luxuryculture.com/home.html?gotourl=LN/features/0000385/luxury-now/simply_sophisticated

 

CLICK on the link for THE LEGACY OF MAHARAJA OF BARODA.

maharaja1

The Maharaja was one of the most important jewelry collectors of the 19th century.  

Check out the details on the legendary Pearl Carpet of Baroda.   

The Moon of Baroda was the diamond worn by Marilyn Monroe in Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend.

Posted in beads, beadwork, jewelry design | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mandy Greer: Dare alla Luce

Posted by learntobead on March 5, 2009

Mandy Greer: Dare alla Luce

January 22-May 31
Museum of Contemporary Craft
Portland, Oregon

Northwest artist Mandy Greer creates her largest and most intricate artwork, extending her sculpture to a room-sized scale. Greer employs humble handicraft processes and materials, executing her work through crochet, braiding, sewing and beading processes that use yarn, beads, shells, feathers and more. Merging the mythical and the mundane, the resulting work intertwines objects and space in an exuberant, sensual and visceral installation.

See the installation on video

http://vimeo.com/2905630?pg=transcoded_embed&sec=2905630

  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Art or Craft?, beads, Workshops, Classes, Exhibits | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »