If I look back through my beading archive, and my textile archive from the days before the bead love got to me; I can see a pattern of figurative work. I love to create forms. The snail on an acanthus leaf, was made for the Beadworker’s Guild annual challenge, which had the title ‘Architectural aspects’. I loved the process of exploring the title, fell in love a little bit with Fibonacci and even more with the process of creating my entry. It’s a marriage of beading and textiles which I made over a two week period.
I enjoy the research stage, the time of promise and possibilities.
A few years later I applied the same process to the preparation of my ‘Battle of the Beadsmith’ entry in 2012. Against a field of international Beaders, I knew I wasn’t a giant necklace kind of designer, and calculated that ‘Pretty’ would be plentiful, so I opted for ‘Ugly’. My bead board looked like the autopsy scene from an Alien movie for the longest while. It was also tough to get up close and observational with scorpions. But it was the best fun. I also learned a lot about competition and the psychology of competing. I also found some new ways to play with Albion Stitch. I love the way the stitch can grow from any other beading technique; in the Scorpion figure it grows from Right Angle Weave, Herringbone stitch and Peyote Stitch, giving me a whole new range of combinations to play with. The flower section on the scorpion piece became a new design called Winterfleur.
I think it is the ability of Albion Stitch to enable me to ‘draw’ with beads that I find most exciting to explore. For me, this figurative work is the work I love to do most, when time permits. it isn’t though, the easiest to break back down into easy to follow steps, it kind of ‘grows’ and there are only so many times you can describe a step as ‘fiddle ’til it fits’! I am though, working on new ‘nature inspired’ designs where the instructions will be a bit kinder to follow!