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Monday, August 11, 2014

North Shore Nocturne

Most of our family vacations have been visits to my (or Carl's) parents.  So we had never been to the North Shore of Lake Superior, a very Minnesotan summer get-away destination.  For my birthday this year, we went for the first time, and I found it inspiring!  While strolling the beach in Grand Marais, I noticed many very flat rocks, and a young man, skipping them across the water.  I picked up one that was a nearly flawless oval, with a Payne's Gray color I loved.  I stuck it in my pocket and thought it might be interesting to bead.

The lake is breathtaking, crystal clear, and constantly changing with light and clouds. This cloud rolled down the shore, completely hiding from view the little jut of land and trees while I watched.  

There was often a mist, creating brilliant rainbow effects,
especially at the many waterfalls, where we hiked early each morning.

My favorite images were the high-contrast, silhouetted ones, with light angled low, at dusk or dawn.

When we got back home, I found the pebble in my pocket. I scrubbed my treasure and rubbed it with beeswax, polishing it to a lovely matte luster. I decided to try to re-create the waterfalls, and the beautiful silhouette lighting I found so appealing.  I called my results "North Shore Nocture".

I tried to include the mistiness and the bits of rainbow, and the beautiful natural world.  My friend Kinga sent me some cabochons for my birthday, and this shadowy leaf one seemed to belong to the piece.

We heard owls hooting, but never saw one, so the bail represents their unseen presence.  

I am really pleased with the rope!  I made a chenille rope, but it did not seem substantial enough for the work, and stretched to support the work, it felt bumpy and imperfect. :(  I tried again, increasing the base row from what I originally learned (6 beads) to eight, to accomodate a core of purchased commercial satin wrapped neckstrap, with ends already attached.  Here's a pic from the work table of the icky original chenille rope, (which does not look so bad until stretched to hold the weight of the waterfall) and the new one and its ends. Learned something really cool there, and it brings up some fabulous other ideas!

And because you know I like to be proud of the OTHER side of my work, a parting shot...

Oh, and one more thing.  Regina Krawets recently posted a beautiful piece of body jewelry on facebook and said she thought it was her "go-to" style.  I wondered what mine was. 
I think since I began as a beadweaver, and love work that is entirely woven, (although I do bead embroidery too) this might be my "go to" beady self.  A weaver.  Maybe this is why I love this gal's work.....



  1. Your piece is amazing and is reproducing all the natural wonders viewed by you .
    Thanks to share with us your beautiful pictures and this gorgeous piece of art.

    1. Renata, thank you for reading and your kind comment!

  2. It's so fabulous I hardly have words - you've chosen images, colors and finishes that I adore!! It's a fantastic piece of work, Marsha! I looooooooooooove!!!!!!!

  3. Marsha,
    Whenever an email from you pops up in my inbox I'm delighted and can't wait to look at it and see what you are up to now. Once again your work is superb, just stunning. The designs, the colors, the styling and the meticulous craftsmanship all are a real pleasure and inspiration. Great piece, lovely photos and story of your vacation.
    Thanks for sharing your work with us!
    Best wishes,

    1. Nili, wow. Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your comment!

  4. What a stunning location and what incredible beauty you created around a 'simple' pebble. Perfect from start to finish, and I love your idea for bulking up the rope. Exceptional as always Marsha! :D

    1. Joanne, thank you! I'm playing with a contrasting color under a crystal rainbow rope, and loving that, as well as experimenting with various netting ideas. I love simple things that look good!