Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Design Talk

Being sick puts a crimp on everything. The brain does want to work right. The fingers aren't as deft as usual. Food doesn't taste good. Grump! But it really puts a crimp in designing. Hard to make the creative juices flow when the rest of the brain is out of sync.

When I started "THE PROJECT" I had a design in mind. I don't draw, but had mentally sketched the piece out. Developed templates for the felt bases. Grabbed all the coral and pearl beads in related sizes and colorations I could find. Then went looking for my bead trays to try laying stuff out in patterns.

Awhile back I took a class from Joyce Lukomski on beading. As a bonus she gave us a bead tray which has stickie bits on it. It is primarily to hold small beads in place when you are traveling so you can work in odd places - hotels, coffee shops, airports... But I've found another use for it -- designing. It holds my beads in place so that I can layout some of the designs - anything 3"x3" or less. Then I can transfer the design - bead for bead to the fabric.

While this helps lots, it still doesn't always account for how something will look once it is on the fabric. I hate frogging, but at least with beads you can clip the threads. Finally have a design I like for the leaves and the rose. A lot has to do with perspective. If you plan on viewing the piece close or from across the room. In this case, it needs to meet both needs. Also, mass, seems to make a difference. Yes you can get the feel with shading the beads, but you lose the feel when you get a couple feet away. Sigh. It is also interesting that the pearls I thought would work best are actually being the ones least used. They looked good in mass, but are almost too good quality to convey the design. I've had to work down a level and use the best pearls as accents.

Adding another layer of complexity is the felt padding. I've been working on layering parts of the felt to get even more perspective. For example, you look down into the center of a rose or the center vein of a leaf.

The project is being done with beads and spangles ranging from 2 - 5 mm. It is interesting looking at the portraits. You begin to get a scale when you can see things like 5 pearls along the edge of a collar which is approximately 1 - 1.5" high. The leaves range across half the arm, but only have around 20 pearls from tip to tip.

All in all very challenging to make happen. Now if only my shipment from Benton and Johnson will arrive with the several thousand spangles. I've already had Joady at Hedgehog Handiworks send me around 700 real gold ones and I had 1000 gold colored ones from a prior shipment - fortunately.

Back to stitching. But wait my column is due is 2 weeks, and and and.... Guess no home baked goodies this year.

No comments: