Beading is a huge part of my identity.
This particular piece was a finalist in the 2008 Bead Dreams competition, the largest beading contest in America, sponsored by Bead & Button Magazine. Without a speck of modesty I say that it is every bit as beautiful as the day I finished it.
This endeavor took over five months of full time work to complete, including weekends.
I will never do this again. My back would ache, my shoulders would crunch and my eyesight is not nearly as sharp. I have lost the ability to do this work but I will always have the joy that my art has given to me. I will always have the pride of knowing that I supported myself as an artist and that I earned the recognition of my peers for its originality.
As far as I know, these were the first beaded beads to be structurally unsupported (completely hollow) inside. For this entry I invented eight completely different hollow structures. Some were were spherical, some were square, some free form or with points like a Moravian star.
The glasses are comprised of beads embroidered onto leather, stiffened with wire. They open and fold with a hinge constructed entirely by beads (as per the rules of the competition). A hidden snap holds them in the folded position.
The first place ribbon went to a woman who beaded a full sized bench. It was lovely and undoubtedly, it took longer then five months to complete, but flat sheets of a common stitch over an existing bench must have bored the winning artist to tears.
At least I hope it did!
Almost ten later, I can still detect the faint odor of sour grapes.