Well 2018 is certainly racing away with itself and here we are at the end of May already and that means it’s time for another Art Elements theme challenge.
I have the privilege of hosting this month’s challenge and when I decided on Tide Pools as the theme I had an image in my head of a big textile piece full of colour and texture and covered in lots of beach finds. Then I blinked and found myself left with only two days before the reveal and nothing started yet…why does life do that so often? It can’t be anything to do with my (lack of) organisation can it. Anyway, I had to downscale my plans and started by pulling out art beads and looking for anything suitable for the subject. I could have spent half a day on this but since after just five minutes I had a tray full I decided it was probably best to stop there.
Even just going through this little lot I was struggling to make my mind up and I kept pulling things out and putting them back – and that’s before I even got to my stash of beach finds! In the end I kept being drawn back to this crystaline ceramic cabochon by Minori Thorpe which already looks like a miniature pool. It’s quite large and has a lip to it so I’ve struggle in the past to know what to do with it but it seemed to be purpose made for this project.
My plan was to create a decorative piece around the bead embroidered cabochon set in a shadow box frame so I started by staining a box frame with a mottled greyish paint mix to represent the rocks around the pool. I always sand my painted frames back and this gave it a bit of a driftwood effect so it works that way too.
Once that was done I covered some bead backing with some silk fabric and beaded a bezel around the cabochon to create the centre piece – so far so good.
From there-on-in it became a bit like a jigsaw puzzle as I selected various beads and components and played around to see what would fit where. This took quite some time and I had to fix a few pieces at a time and then go back and check the rest would still fit. I stitched as many items as I could in place but some, inevitably had to be glued. In the end there wasn’t much of the silk backing visible and I filled in some of the gaps with Czech glass drops to give the impression of bubbles and used drops and seed beads to create some seaweed fringing.
Unfortunately it was difficult to get a really good photo because of all the different angles and the depth of the shadow box frame. I took a few close ups to try and give a better idea of the various techniques I’ve used.
This piece includes glass, ceramic and enamel components made by my team mates Jenny, Caroline, Sue, Jennifer and Karen. The shells and sea glass are mostly local and the crab claw came all the way from Fenwick beach in Delaware and as for that lovely star fish… I’m not sure where he came from but I suspect he was purchased rather than found.
So that’s my finished piece and I’m pretty happy with it considering I set myself up for such a rush job. Now I can’t wait to see what everyone has been inspired to create (don’t forget one of our guest contributors will be randomly selected to receive a goody bag from me) and I hope you will join me on our blog hop using the links below.
AE Team Members: