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Friday, April 24, 2015

Briar Rose

I am proud to present my 2015 Bead Dreams entry, "Briar Rose" and happy to edit my post to announce that it placed first in Ms. Maddie's Fabulous Florals.  This category honors Merle Berelowitz, and is generously sponsored by her family and CJS Sales, specialists in vintage jewelry supplies in NYC.

I did not know Merle Berelowitz, but I believe I share a love of all things floral with her.  I hope her family finds the amazing collection of works presented in her memorial category pleasing.

My entry was the result of several ideas. First, I planted a new succulent ground cover in my garden last summer and the sweet, prickly little thing was happy enough in its new spot to bloom. The flower had a flat brown face, and five pointy golden petals that curled away.  I loved it!

The basic shape of my rose components, and the idea of thorns came from this adorable plant.  I started with three 35mm cathedral jewels, which appealed because of the Pantone color of the year for 2015, Marsala.

Then I fiddled with various petals.

And finally created some I liked, and tested colors and application.

Then, I played with leaves, thinking spike-y, and rose-like.

Which were created from long oval Swarovski jewels and diagonal peyote.

Once I had leaves and flowers, I wanted to further pursue the bas relief branch technique I created last year for "Ka-Bloom", which involved couching satin cord to bead backing and beading over it.

But this time, I wanted to make thorny vines.  I sketched, trying to create a sort of dangerous looking growth of rose vines, that might have served as protection for "Briar Rose" herself, (aka Sleeping Beauty) as she lay sleeping in her castle, awaiting her true loves kiss.

I carefully plotted leaf and thorn placement, and then, began beading away... 

But I struggled with color, and made THREE versions before I could decide which I preferred.  Jeez. For what this is worth, I don't find using color challenging.  I have a pretty good idea of what I want.  It's getting the combination of beads, thread and backing that will produce that result that is hard!

 Reject #1
Reject #2
Until finally... I found a combination I liked!

Pretty happy with my little clasp too.

Surprisingly, it seems I took no picture of the backside, always a point of pride for me.

But I quietly begin to wonder.  Why do I work so hard at this?  Particularly when what I make seems somehow not to belong to me, but instead to those who would show it, if they choose?  Or to those who would see it, but only when they are ready, and on their terms.  Some little thing in my heart is broken, and I hope I can mend it.  I think my competition days might be drawing to a close.

I wrote the above paragraph on a difficult day.  I leave it here because I imagine I will need to be reminded of how I felt on some other day, when I am doubting myself and others.  I participate in competitive beading because I find it pushes me to reach for MORE in every way.  It's not easy.  And it can be emotionally draining, but it can also be a very good thing, and I hope that I can remember to keep that GOOD at the top of my heart and mind going forward.

Thank you Kinga for the photo!