Wednesday, 7 September 2011

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

When I had removed the previously beaded motif and looked at the bare canvas I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of work required. Floral Melody is approximately 12 inches wide by 6 inches high. Both sides are heavily beaded. All I could see was the hours and hours and hours of beading.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

I reminded myself that I like beading and could happily spend hours and hours and hours doing it. I looked again at the design and noticed that it is made up of individual motifs, a few larger ones and lots of smaller ones. I decided not to focus on the whole but rather to concentrate on just one motif at a time.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

In Japanese embroidery (beading included) you work the foreground motifs first. On Floral Melody the motifs don’t actually overlap so I chose to treat the larger motifs as being in the foreground. Even the largest motif has several components; the flower, the stem, a few leaves and some bracts. I decided to work on this flower first.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Now that I have got going, I am really enjoying the beading this piece. It is true that I enjoy whatever I am working on but this one is pure JOY! The previous Phases have been somewhat repetitive, although that is not necessarily a bad thing in my book - I like that kind of work and find it very relaxing. The dynamic of this phase is completely different. It uses a greater variety beads and techniques, and each motif works up relatively quickly. It is fascinating to see the fanciful flowers and foliage emerging from the lines printed on fabric.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

As with the Japanese Embroidery, each phase introduces a new technique. The new technique on Floral Melody is moriage which gives a 3 dimensional effect without the aid of padding beads. I am finding it a challenge to obtain an even, consistent look to the raised areas and have reworked them several times before I have something I’m satisfied with. As with most tricky techniques, the results are worth the effort.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching

5 comments:

Connie said...

Seeing your work makes me want to learn to bead.

Rachel said...

How do you eat an elephant?
- A bite at a time!

You're doing well!

Elmsley Rose said...

Is part of the leaf raised? How?

This is going to be beautiful. My handbag is black with a colourful floral design, the flowers and leaves outlined in beads, and I love it dearly. And you are producing a work of art along the same lines, only a whole lot better!

Think "Zen" on repetitive stuff. Nothing I like more than a talking book, a cat to 'help' me (they just keep me company, they don't interfere because they are such good boys and also they know they will be made into slippers if they walk on my frame), and some careful but repetitive work to really settle in and relax in a peaceful zone....

maisie sparrow's vintage pictures said...

This bead work is stunning!!

Susan Elliott said...

Beautiful...I think I not only eat one elephant but because I have so many projects going at once...and so many in the queue...that I have a whole herd of elephants to eat...

So I just show up every day I can...just like you.

I can't tell you how satisfying it is to LOOK at your beautiful beading so I can only imagine it must feel even better to stitch it! You make me want to dig out my peacock purse and finish that. maybe I will...