Thursday, April 9, 2015

She's Crafty | From seeds to flowers...

Tiny beads, also known as seed beads, can be combined to create all sorts of amazing objects. From an endless array of beaded earrings and other accessories to beaded sculptures and full flower arrangements. If you have ever beaded anything, chances are you have come into contact with a seed bead or two.

Various sizes and colors of seed beads with tubular bugle beads.
Photo by April. Some Rights Reserved.
Huichol beaded reptile. Photo by Leonora Enking. Some Rights Reserved.
603-08, Twisty Turvey. Photo and beadwork by Dini Alves. Some Rights Reserved.

Since we are firmly into Spring, it's a perfect time to look into the art of beaded flowers.

A few years back my mother found The Flowers of Venice by Giovanna Poggi Marchesi. This big beautiful book introduced her to the art of Venetian beaded flowers and the conterie, or glass seed beads, which have been made in Venice for hundreds of years. My mother was inspired to make her own beaded flowers.

My mother dug deep into the tutorials and books pertaining to beaded flowers and found a tutorial that guided her step-by-step to create a life-size beaded orchid with leaves and a bud from wire and glass seed beads.

She created this beauty a few years ago but unfortunately it stands alone as she did not make more flowers. She describes making beaded flowers as easy work but incredibly tedious; the hardest part is having the patience to string all the little seed beads onto thin wire. I remember traveling with her to find tools like bead stringing bowls that would help her with the stringing, but the one we finally settled on didn't work well with wire. After a while she just went on to her next craft adventure and stored all the books and tutorials she collected away, hoping one day to revisit the craft. 

Which may be sooner than later...

Recently I was grabbing stuff from around the house to put in an I Spy Spring display and spied her blue orchid. I gave it a good cleaning and though I have always admired its beauty, the time spent cleaning its petals and looking at the way the seed beads come together to create a flower, gave me a chance to admire the beauty in which it was constructed and how easy it really is to make.

Also, it made me think I should finally try my hand at beaded flowers. Imagining beaded plumerias in my hair helped a bit too. So now we're on the hunt for good stringing tools and various colors of seed beads. I feel a trip to the bead store is in my future.

If you're interested in creating your very own beaded creations, I came across two books available for check out that would help you bead-ify your world.

The Beaded Object: Making Gorgeous Flowers & Other Decorative Accents by Mary Jo Hiney.

Beads in Bloom : The Art of Making French Beaded Flowers by Arlene baker.


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