Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Use the Muse IV Sneak Peek

Scarlett Lanson's  Use the Muse IV contest is currently underway and I'm excited to show you a few sneak peaks of my entry.   My daughter and I are huge Project Runway fans and as I worked on this piece, I couldn't help but compare the experience.  If you've watched the show, you'll know that contestants are constantly pushed to create couture and creative garments.  While that is not a requirement in this bead challenge, winning pieces definitely need to be creative as well as skillfully constructed.  My beading tends to be streamlined and matches my individual style.   Like project runway contestants, I find it challenging to create something that is both me, yet also elaborate enough to catch the judge's eye.  I attempt to incorporate techniques I haven't used before.  I also attempt to make the piece versatile and asymmetrical both of which usually push my creativity.

I totally sympathize with the time and material constraints placed on Project Runway contestants.  In comparison I had nearly unlimited materials (a base kit is provided by Artbeads and you can add whatever you want) and I might as well have had unlimited time (3 weeks).  This season's most recent "your out" was given to Jonathan after he redid his dress five times and finally ran out of both fabric and time.  Had he been given more of both, he would have achieved a better result.  I can't count the number of times I completely revamped my Use the Muse IV design.  I'm lucky that beads can be pulled apart and reused an unlimited amount of times or my result would have also failed on the runway.

My first inspiration was chainmaille and I envisioned draping chains of beadwork from the Muse (shhh, a big secret, I can't reveal the muse yet).  Unfortunately, neither herringbone nor spiral stitches created the delicacy I was looking for.  My daughter provided the next inspiration, dream catcher, and the resulting spiral dangles were quite lovely.  I then preceded to add a riveted element and was quite happy with the result and it was time to work on the neck pieces.

That's when I created the ropes you see in the picture above.  They started out as a simple weave around the provided leather cord that was going to go behind the neck.  However, they evolved in something much more elaborate using herringbone and right angle weaves in tubular form.  They were also the perfect size to make into a bracelet and I decided to make two straps, both bracelet length.

The second strap quickly formed in an embellished spiral weave.  Back to the drawing board....I decided the focal point needed to be redone completely.  Off went the spiral rope dangles (lovely though they were) and off went the riveted elements (never to be seen again).  Many things were tried and cut off until I was satisfied.  I won't spoil the surprise but look for updates after the Muse is revealed on Scarlett's website later this month.  I leave you with the picture of the mess left behind...I wonder how long before this is cleaned up?

For more information visit:

The Beader's Muse


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

This is absolutely STUNNING.
And it makes my finger hurt to think of holding or chasing (in my case!) all those beautiful little beads!
You're my winner right now! :)


Christine's Beadworks said...

Thanks so much Anne! I feel like a hermit bursting out of it's shell. I've been buried in this project for the last couple of weeks and hardly looked at the computer!.

Mary T Designs said...

I love what you have done so far. I can't wait to see the finished piece!

Christine's Beadworks said...

Thanks Mary! It's a lot of fun when Scarlett posts all the entries on her site. It's truly amazing the amount of talent out there.

Robbie said...

OK, I'm lovin' the 'mess' picture!! Maybe a new design in the making!

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

Looks like earth and sky, a favorite colorway of mine. And boy, do I ever recognize the "end mess" photo. Can't wait to see the final result!

Marmalade Hills said...

I love your color combination! Very earthy and rich. Can't wait to see the result :)

Beadwright said...

I love your piece. I fell asleep just befor the Project Runway started. They always show it again so I will watch both episodes this week.

Anonymous said...

Christine, from your sneak preview I can see this piece is going to be amazing! I can't wait to see the whole thing :)

I'm a big fan of Project Runway too.

Liz x

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

Everything you have done is so beautiful!!! I can't wait to see the whole thing.

Christine's Beadworks said...

Thanks everyone! And Robbie, hmmm, maybe I don't need to clean the mess, just make something with it, I'm liking that idea.

gourdphile said...

You win!

I'm with Robbie: love the wild and free beads. You've roped 'em fine and fabulous, though. Truly lovely work, Christine. I think it takes great will power and intense devotion to one's art to make something and UNDO it and start again. A true artist does that. You deserve to win and already have in my opinion.

Christine's Beadworks said...

Thanks Jan, it's a lesson I was slow to learn, you have to be willing to start over, or you'll never create something unique. With seed beads you can at least reuse, I wasn't so lucky (yet) with the wire bits...maybe I can melt them, lol.

Rebecca said...

Looks fantastic! I love what you've done with the kit - I bought one but time has run away with me this time so no entry from me. Can't wait to see the whole thing!

Christine's Beadworks said...

Thanks Rebecca, I'm counting down the's almost here.