Friday, July 23, 2010

Inspired by Hollywood

One of the most common remarks people make when they see one of my beaded necklaces is 'Oh my, girl, you have some kind of patience I sure don't!' Well, I have a bit of a secret--it's not patience. In fact, with the bigger seed-beaded pieces, the way I manage to see through to the end is a lot more akin to mindlessness. My secret weapon against bead-induced insanity? The lowly television set!

Most of my jewelry is beaded while watching something or other. It's an odd balancing act, integrating detail-oriented, labor-intensive beadwork with something as visual as television, but I've been somehow managing for years (it started when I realized that I could just look at my beadwork when something embarrassing came onto the screen--like a shirtless man. I was a strange teenager. Actually, I'm still strange). And if I didn't bead while watching, I'd almost never get around to watching anything at all.

Not surprisingly, whatever I'm watching at the time will frequently become inspiration for a piece of jewelry. My most notorious inspired-by-Hollywood piece is the Crime Scene lariat pictured above, which won its category in the Fire Mountain Gems contest last year, and was featured on the front page of well-known art site DeviantArt. Can you guess I watched a lot of a certain famous procedural?

One of my favourite movies is Iron Man. So, inspired by the 'iron' theme and the glowing 'arc-reactor' powering Iron Man's super suit, I beaded a pair of earrings in which bright silver surrounds a 'heart' of sparkling crystal, set into an industrial-looking Maltese cross in matte metallic gray. Cut to two years later, I'm in the theater watching Iron Man II for the first time, and it's at the scene in which the remarkably-ugly and appropriately-menacing villain builds his own twisted version of Iron Man's super suit. Well, what do I see around his neck but a silver necklace in the very same shape as the earrings I made two years ago! I knew right then I had to make that necklace, so here it is. You can see the movie version (and the villain) here
And then there's all that Stargate I love so much. For those of you who aren't sci-fi geeks or die-hard Stargate fans, one of the defining symbols of Stargate is an inverted V with a small circle at the point. It represents Earth. In one of my very favourite episodes (the 'time loop' episode which every respectable sci-fi show does at some point), my favourite character wears a royal blue shirt while making pottery; something very unlike this military man's normal persona. So I made a beaded dog tag with the symbol for Earth in silver on a field of royal blue.
Sometimes I get inspired by some of the concepts of a movie/show, rather than specific imagery, but that's a tale for another day.


Beth said...

I'm 100% with you. I hate watching TV without doing something else while I'm doing it most of the time, and... well, let's face it, geeky obsessions can lead to awesomely creative stuff. Love it!

Laurie said...

I'm with ya. I can't remember the last time I watched TV without doing anything else.