Klimt at the Beading Festival

Klimt at the Beading Festival

In May the Beadworkers Guild will be gathering for the Beading Festival, a weekend inspired by Gustav Klimt. It is always a delight to be invited to teach, and to be given a brief to work to. I can't begin to count the hours of research, daydreaming and sketch book scribbling that go into preparing a class like this; it is a quest like no other. To explore an artist's work, take from one medium and work in another, and create a workbook that students can use to create their beadwork.

To begin, I’m going to walk everyone through the 'how' of taking a source and turn it into beadwork that will speak of the source, but have it’s contemporary voice too. Gustav Klimt’s portraits are filled with pattern and colour, but also many layers of meaning. Not least of which is a tenderness and delicacy that translates beautifully in beads. We’ll also be looking at colour selecting, designing with repeating elements and creating wearable beadwork. 


This is a snapshot of my desk, picking out colours to make some beady inspiration packs. These will be available in class, but I'm hoping everyone will add their own bead and colour choices to the mix. Shapes include adorable crystal tipped barrels of beadwork that can be worked as a centre piece or used as beaded beads. I’ve also devised a neat way to work up crisp triangles, one of Klimt’s favourite symbols. Adding into the mix are ovals, circles and squares in a range of beady stitches. 

I am having the best time preparing a whole range of samples, from lariats to pendants, collars to bracelets, and while I'll keep some surprises for my class, here are just a few of the pieces I've finished so far.

If you are tempted to join us, there are just a very few seats left for this class. The Guild also hold a 'Bead in' a whole day of beading together on the theme, and of course a shopping bonanza with the Sunday Bazaar. To find out more, visit the Beadworkers Guild website here.

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