Sunday, July 29, 2012

Missing...

I am proud to announce that my piece, "Missing" survived the first cut in the 2012 Battle of the Beadsmith International Invitational Beading Tournament on facebook, and of the 80 original entries, it is one of the 40 that will continue to round 2 of adjudication.
Back View - I like to close my bezels to prevent wear.
When I set out to create my piece, I thought it would be a representation of my home, Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes.   I imagined a work with many bezeled Bermuda Blue rivolis, representing lakes, and lush greenery swirling around those lakes in elegant twists like naturally occuring fibonacci spirals.  I had looked at many examples of fractals in nature and mathematics, and I had a sketch that gave a rough impression of what I was hoping to accomplish.  I hoped to suggest a waterfall, like Minnehaha Falls near my home, as the focal component.



About half way through my project, my mother passed away.  My parents were both very supportive of my artistry, encouraged me to pursure a degree in theater, (when many might have suggested learning to type) and my mother gave me my love of handcrafts, teaching me to knit, crochet, embroider and sew. For Christmas of my Senior year of High School, they gave me a sewing machine.  It was an astonishingly expensive thing, and competely out of line with what Christmas gifts usually were, but it was also a confirmation of their support for my chosen career, and it meant the world to me.
Suddenly, my work was not about Minnesota any more.  It was about my mother, or more important, the absence of my mother.
The lively, curling greenery idea disappeared.  The beautiful blue components rearranged themselves into a soft circle of life, with a smaller supporting outer ring for me, and a larger inner ring for her, which merged into one single line at the base of the focal, as I realized I am now the family matriarch.  The negative space in the center of the focal created a soft heart impression.  Then the waterfall became a curtain of tears, falling from the circle. 

The blue was just the perfect color.  My mom's kitchen was always blue.  And I associate her with that room.  She loved to cook and bake, and so many photos of her were taken in that room.  She owned a set of beautiful, cobalt blue dishes.  Let me show you!  These were in the kitchen, but I moved them to the dining room while I prepared the house for sale over the the last month, because I thought they were so beautiful in the china cabinet she was so very proud of. For Mom, preparing and sharing food was an act of love!
And here's the kitchen. See the blue gingham curtains she made?  The pale aqua figure on the  backsplash tile she chose?  The adjoining wall has paper with a delicate blue figure on it.
And the dining room chandelier?  Gold, of course.  And there have always been golden yellow accents in the kitchen too.  Mom had beautiful blue eyes as well, but she was legally blind when she began to fall, and the third fracture of her pelvis was just too much to recover from at 89.

I think although it began as something quite different, this is the most personal and deeply felt work I have done as a beader.  I always create with wearability in mind, and have worn each piece I have made at least once.  Initially I din't think this particular piece would get a public wearing.  But I did put it on... and asked The Best Man Ever to take a shot for me.  I also thought I would never sell it, but a time comes to move on through life, and it is now listed in my Etsy shop.


So, there you have it.  A very personal piece, about an empty space in my life.  I tried to make the empty spaces, the negative shapes in the work, (the "missing" bits if you will) speak as loudly as what is there.  I wish I could share it with her.  I think she would approve.

48 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Marsha for sharing your creation and what it means to you. Great to hear about how supportive your mother and parents were of you and to get an insight into the life of your Mum. The photo of the necklace on you is beautiful Congratulations on progressing to the next round and all the best with the rest.

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  2. What a lovely story and your necklace reflects your story beautifully.
    Your Mom would have been extremely proud of you. Thank you so much for sharing. I also lost my Mom at the beginning of my beading journey but knew she was thrilled to see what I had already accomplished. And I like to think that our Moms still see what we are creating...

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  3. Marsha what a wonderful tribute to your mother and the piece looks so fabulous on you. I hope you will wear it every chance you get as it will make it even more precious to you as you remember all that your mother did for you. Mothers are a very special gift especially to us daughters and I know that she is aware of your tribute and love for her.
    Coral

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    1. Reading these kind and warm comments makes me feel so connected to her. Thank you Coral!

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  4. Hi, I also made a piece after my mom left us. It is simple, of PMC with her favorite flower, Lily of the Valley and a touch of enamel. I keep it close to my heart as you will yours. Oh and by the way gorgeous.
    Blessings,
    RobinBeth Faulkner

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    1. Thank you! I am so pleased to hear people relating to this work. :)

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  5. Your mom would love this piece, and it's only fitting that you keep it. It's peaceful and serene, just like the picture of you wearing it. Truly a masterpiece Marsha.Despite all the sadness and loss, like a phoenix, this piece reemerged from the ashes to become whole and beautiful... Congratulations!

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  6. You are amazing, and so is your artwork. Thanks for sharing your story!!

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  7. Marsha, your piece is absolutely gorgeous...congratulations on moving to the next round of competition.
    The story of your mom and this piece, so eloquently written, has touched my heart as well and brought back memories of my own mother. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.
    BTW the photo of you wearing the neckpiece is wonderful as well and you look lovely.
    All the best in your future endeavours.

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    1. Thank you Helen. I was nervous about posting the photo of me. I just turned 59 and my neck is no longer a great place to view artwork, BUT... I finally went ahead. You are all encouraging me to maybe actually wear it. I'm so glad my story digs up memories of other moms as well!

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  8. Hi Marsha,
    All I can say is... "Wow" - regarding the piece and the story/tribute to your mother. Fantastic!
    Beautiful picture of you, too...
    Best!
    Cindy

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  9. I remember seeing bits and pieces of this necklace when Dad and I stayed with you on our journey back to Montana. It's beautiful Marsha! Grandma would have loved it. We miss you already!

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    1. Holly, I miss you too! And your family, most especially my brother, who I felt I got to know during this stay. He's such a good man. Usually, he's off fishing with my boys when I am there. Thank you for stopping by! Maybe I will have to visit Helena again after all!!!

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  10. A beautiful piece. thank you for sharing your inspiration behind it, your mum would certainly approve xx

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  11. thanks for sharing, Marsha!
    don´t have words to say because of too much emotions...
    hugs!

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    1. Thank you Kris. Loved your project in Bead and Button this month BTW!

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  12. I am heartened that you have many wonderful memories to call upon. I spent quite a bit of time this weekend speaking with my cousin recalling all the wonderful shared memories of our grandparents- it gladdened both our hearts and we shared quite a few laughs. Memories are so much more important than things; the gift of the sewing machine is not about the object itself but the love and support it represented.

    My sympathies to you and your family.

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    1. Yes KJ, you are so right about things. They say you don't remember what people say to you, but you remember how they make you feel. That was certainly true in this case!

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  13. Ich bin absolut Sprachlos!!! ein Meisterwerk!!!

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  14. As always, an incredible piece of artistry. The fact that it is so personal and has traveled through this time with you makes it truly a work of art. I was just starting out, learning slowly, when my mother passed... I had perhaps made two or three very simple pieces and had given them to her. I miss her every day, still. Warm hugs and an outstretched hand, Marsha, as you make your way through the journey of grieving. This is such a stunning tribute. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. (And I am completely UNsurprised that your work went to round 2, of course!!)

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    1. Nancy thank you so much. I brought back the work I had made for her, and it warms my heart. I wore one of the pieces, with little angels woven into a spiral, to the funeral. She had a collection of angels, and my borther and sister agreed to give most of that collection to friends and family, which I felt great about. Love your piece as well! Gotta get to your blog and see what you have to say about it! Seems to me you struggled with it initially...

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  15. That is so beautiful, Marsha. A beautiful inspiration and a gorgeous spectacular stunner of a piece of jewelry too.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  16. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. I hope that one day you can wear this with comforting memories of her. It is beautiful by itself, but exquisite when worn.

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    1. Thank you so much. I am warming to the idea of wearing it... I really appreciate the support!

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  17. I loved the piece already, but hearing how it changed into a tribute to your mother made me love it even more! I'm sorry for your loss, but you have transformed it into something beautiful and lasting. It looks beautiful on you. I hope you wear it often.

    Joann

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  18. WOW!!!!! es fantastico!!!
    Un trabajo fenomenal!!!!
    Saludos

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  19. A beautiful tribute to your Mother and your talent. Thanks for sharing, and good luck.

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  20. Beautiful and perfectly done ​​jewelry!
    I am very happy that I've found your blog. Thank you for sharing;)

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    1. Thank you April, your work is lovely too!

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  21. In this gorgeous necklace I can imagine heart.Your heart for your Mom.Beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Arkadia, my love for my mom is certainly woven in!

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  22. Hello Marsha!
    I'm from London and I'm just starting out in beading. I love your work and pieces on Etsy.
    I also love the way you write and I think its wonderful you have shared your story and experiences, especially when it comes to losing such a close family member.
    Although I'm young, I have experienced quite a few traumas in my life and I think maybe doing something similar (on a smaller scale!) will help me come to terms with things.
    Thank you so much and I look forward to your posts as always.
    Zoe

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    1. Zoe, I really believe that there is a theraputic aspect to all creating, and particularly to the meditative nature of hand craft. The idea of organizing our worlds to suit our emotions is a powerful one. I took a peek at your blog and love the beauty you creat as well! Thank you.

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  23. Impresionante trabajo..Es usted una artista con palabras mayores..!!
    Asombrada estoy.
    Noelia

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    1. Thank you so much Noelia. I used Google translate to figure out what a lovely comment you left me and I really appreciate it! :)

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