Thursday, December 30, 2010

Color Challenge Finals: The Lady & the Unicorn

As promised, here is the first of the five pieces I created for the Margie & Me Finals.

The first piece from which I decided to take my color cues was the tapestry 'The Lady & the Unicorn', with its rich rust, lapis blue, gold and pine green palette. This was immediately a challenge, as I had few rust reds/oranges in my bead collection, but I solved it by thinking beyond beads, instead selecting a carved red agate flower as the focal, allowing me to need only a few actual beads in similar hues.

Bead embroidery was clearly the way to go. Not only did it afford me a lot of flexibility in bead use, the densely stitched nature visually related to the needleweaving of the tapestry itself.
For the pendant I used a few brown goldstone beads, a small quantity of frosted silverlined rust orange 11s,  several intense orange-red faceted carnelian coins, 2mm lapis rounds, gold 11s, and frosted/silverlined and transparent 11s in jade green. I stitched them in more or less a structured pattern, endeavoring to mirror the overall shapes similar on each side without putting too much pressure on myself to make them 'identical'. After all, the tapestry isn't mirror-identical on each side either.
I finished the piece by stitching a gold right-angle-weave tube bail, edged with the last of the frosted orange 11s, and made a simple neck strap of citrine chips and rectangles spaced with gold 11s, interspersed with the remaining goldstone beads. I punched another set of holes in a pair of enamelled-blue copper drops, and used them as 'caps' to the strap, a nod to the blue tent in the tapestry.


Anonymous said...

Very lovely. I love your use of the sewn beads and stones together. They really compliment each other and pull the colors beautifully from the inspiration.

jamberry_song said...

I am totally a fan of the maiden and unicorn mythology, so this piece had particular interest for me. Also, it came out BEAUTIFUL!! That carved focal is simply gorgeous, and you are right---the bead embroidery perfectly echoes the nature of the tapestry weaving. Gorgeous. A piece the maiden would wear, herself. ^__^

It's also cool that you're challenging yourself. I, too, have started a challenge that I hope to have finished by 2012 new years. :) Best of luck to you!