The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
Glass Japanese and Czech seed beads, nylon beading thread, polymer clay faces, Lacey’s Stiff Stuff, ultrasuede, metal findings
A box framed beaded picture inspired by the 1920s German film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
This was one of the pieces I made for my Graduate exhibition in November 2008 when I finished my Diploma of Textile Art. I have always loved the early German film that this was inspired by, and I had ordered these faces off Etsy or Ebay at some point not knowing exactly what I was going to do with them. The two ideas came together wonderfully. The shapes in the background beading are all based on the look of the film, which is very angular in places and also has some amazing windy paths in other places.
The actual materials are given above. I did the beading onto Lacey's Stiff Stuff (which is tediously difficult to get in Australia, so you have to plan ahead - I need to restock), with the outline drawn onto the A4 size sheet. Then I glued the faces on and drew the rough shapes of the areas I wanted to bead. Then just went for it! Originally this was going to be a necklace. I finished it then glued it onto a sheet of Ultrasuede (for supplies of that in Oz, see comment on LSS!) with the intention of cutting the two out and beading the edges and attaching findings. But it looked rather wonderful just on the Ultrasuede and I thought it looked like an ancient artefact sitting in a museum case. So I got it framed in the box frame so that it looked something like that.
It didn't sell at the exhibition, hardly surprising given that I was shoved in a poorly lit corner that no-one could even get into properly. (Not impressed with Box Hill TAFE's exhibition space that year, that we were allowed no opinion on). It hangs on my wall and I love it dearly though I would also love it dearly if I could sell things like this and make some sort of living out of them!
I haven't done any big pieces like this since then but I must do some more, they are what I like doing best in the whole world. Trouble is, they are expensive in terms of both materials and time and if I cannot sell something along the way it is hard to justify them. Yes, they are beautiful, they are art, but I have to earn some money somewhere! And issues with Wombat make it very hard for me to earn money outside the home. Enough grumpiness, I am starting to plan my next extravagant bead embroidery piece.