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Monday, July 02, 2007

2007 Bead Journal Project, and my piece for June

I was very excited to hear about, and to be accepted into, the 2007 Bead Journal Project, set up by the amazing and wonderful Robin Atkins, who just happens to be my favorite bead embroidery artist in the world.
The idea is to create a piece of bead embroidery per month for twelve months, done any way we like, but with the stipulation that each piece be the same size (as our other ones, not the same size as the other 249 people's pieces!)
After eighteen months of having design principles drummed into my head, I wanted to use a totally intuitive approach to this project. After some thought I decided that each month I would buy a piece of felt (I discovered last year that felt is fantastic to bead onto), choosing the colour that leapt out at me at the time, which would depend on how my mood at that point. I would then choose a colour palette that I liked with that colour, tip it all into a tray, and start beading. No design planning, just let the beads speak to me. (OK, so those design lessons haven't gone completely to waste - I now instinctively choose colours based on my studies of colour theory! Though the intuitive choosing of the felt is genuinely intuitive - in fact for July I picked a colour I never use, it just jumped out at me and matched my mood at the time).
Another sign that the design lessons have sunk in - I decided that the various pieces would need an integrating element, so each one will have a small tag with a word emgraved on it, again suiting my mood for the month. I bought a whole pile of them at the beginning and so I have plenty to choose from.
June's piece was called, in my head, 'I'd Rather be Shopping'. I am not necessarily going to give each piece a title so I will wait and see what happens before committing myself to that in the long term. The engraved charm says 'Wish'. June was a BAD MONTH, for reasons I won't go into but revolving mostly around Wombat's problems which have got dramatically worse recently. Many a time I found I had to cancel fun things I had planned, like going to art exhibitions, to stay at home, either with him, or just in case he tried to do something awful at school and needed immediate removal. I just about managed to get to my classes on Fridays, and that took dramatic interstate juggling (given that George spent part of the time squelching around Newcastle and other damp places nowhere near us). Other than that I spent much of the month feeling trapped and frustrated and very fearful of the future. All those emotions went into that piece but I couldn't resist trying to keep it a bit light in mood otherwise I would have slashed my wrists!
Edited to add: I forgot to say that each piece is about A5 in size and at the moment I have no idea whether I am going to make them into a book or a wall hanging or what at the end of twleve months. That will also be down to intuition! And Sue H - I have made beaded brooches and must make some more, but no, these pieces aren't for wearing - at least not yet, who knows what will happen in a year!


freebird said...

I like your June page. I see your heart is in shopping! I saw the shoes, purse and ice cream cones in the picture when I enlarged it. Your wish sign surrounded by all the beads made me feel like a thought was in my head and all the ideas were whirling around it. Nice piece.

Sue H said...

That beaded piece is gorgeous. Is it a brooch? I'm looking forward to seeing your July work.

Jejune said...

Sorry to hear June has been such a tough month for you - I know how hard it is with kids with 'issues', I have to tackle the same things too... We're having a bad week with Dotter and her health, which is getting worse. Have to take her to hospital this afternoon for yet another appointment with a specialist... (((hugs)))

Thank you so much for your offer of earrings for Lulu! Dotter is jealous ;) Please drop me a line on my Yahoo mail account and I'll send you my snail mail address.

Robin said...

Bravo! Good for you that you finished your June piece in spite of the month's difficulties. It seems that there may be a wish inside you that is boxed up, surrounded by the more trivial aspects of life (shopping, etc.) Is it possible that part of you is wishing for a more meaningful/spiritual life?

Thanks for the compliment... I'm blushing, but it made my day!

Blessings, Robin

Lillian said...

Hi Judy,

I love all the blues and purples, and that you made it for you :o)
I have a friend in Sydney, but haven't made it there for a visit-always been a dream...maybe someday

Thanks for sharing,

Lillian in Washington, USA

Bejeweled said...

Your intuitive approach has created a gorgeous piece of artwork! I love all the different things that you incorporated and that great purple color!

Sunni said...

The piece is beautiful. I always say I have no "favorite" color, and then I see purples put together like this and I want to dive right into them.
I can't wait to see what your next piece will be.
I will have to add you to my growing list of wonderful beaders I have to keep track of so I don't miss their work.
Thank you for sharing,

Christina said...

It looks gorgeous. I like the color palette as well. Nice work! :)

beadbabe49 said...

Beautiful piece indeed...hope july and august go easier for you!