Friday, 26 March 2010

Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest

I promised my beady friend, the very talented Zoya Gutina, that I would let you know the exciting news about the new contest she is hosting on her website – Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest.

You can make anything you like, as long as it is comprised of at least 50 per cent of seed beads and uses one of the colour combinations shown below. You can enter up to three pieces, one in each colour combination, and collaborations of up to four artists will also be accepted. Entries will be accepted between the 1st of April and the 15th of June, ten finalists will be announced on the 20th of June and the winners will be announced on the 1st of July. See the ‘Contest Rules’ page on Zoya’s website, for full details of the rules and how to submit your entry.

Now, there are lots of good reasons to have a go at this contest, not only is it a great personal challenge to work in set colour combinations, but it’s free to enter, it’s open to international entrants, judging is from photos only (so you don’t have to worry about packing and posting your creation) and there are prizes to be won – how many beading contests can say all of that?

Oh, and if you take a look at the ‘Jurors’ page, you will see that I have the honour of being one of the judges. Thank you Zoya and good luck everyone!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Core Beaded Beads ...

Nearly two years ago, when I first saw some beautiful silver core lampwork beads, I had the idea that I would like to try and replicate them in beadwork.  It's a very simple idea, but for some reason it has taken me this long to find the right method and the best stitches to 'build' these.  I use the word 'build' because beading (especially sculptural beadwork) can be a bit like that sometimes - you know you want to build a house, but what bricks to use?  I tried many different stitches and have a big bag full of beaded beads of various shapes, sizes and colours that just weren't quite right.  Some were the wrong shape or size and some wouldn't hold their shape enough and were just a little bit too 'squishy', but finally, I think I am happy with the end result and here are my Core Beaded Beads.

Of course this type of glass bead is very popular at the moment and you often see them threaded on to silver snake chains, so I thought I would complete the effect and make one of those too.  I made a bracelet length and a necklace length and tried out some different colours and patterns.  That is a whole lot of stitching but I am pleased with the results.  I named the first one 'Warrior Queen' as the gunmetal beads reminded me of chainmaille and the metallic purple made me think of royalty.  I stuck with the theme and so went on to make 'Elven Queen' in greens and purples with a gold core and then 'Tudor Queen' in black and white.  These are really satisfying beads to make, they only take a couple of hours each, you can make them in an almost endless variety of colours and they are very easy to wear.  My current favourite way to wear these is to string a few of them onto a piece of velvet ribbon and tie it round my wrist as it stops the beads rolling around.

If you would like to make your own Core Beaded Beads, the pattern is for sale on my website.