Friday, July 31, 2009

Seed Bead Kipoh

It's been a year, and I've been through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. My prognosis is good. I've grown my hair back and regained most of my energy. And, minus one boob, look pretty cute if I may say so myself.

Beading kept me feeling optimistic through this whole process even when I wasn't doing it. Things sat on my bead table, patiently awaiting time when I was able to return. If you've been over to my Etsy shop (link at right->), you've seen some of the new stuff I've been selling.

I want to focus over here on PROCESS, because it's so interesting. Also, when I see all the things my fellow artists have created, I always go WOW, how on earth did she make that? I also imagine her process as immediate, sort of she had an idea, and POOF, the piece is sitting there. Or, that the piece was conceived in her imagination, and in a linear, step-by-step process the piece was made to fit her idea.

Well ~ I'm not at all like this. I am currently working on a new idea for a kipoh. This is a little cap made for a Jewish woman to wear while praying. The traditional men's cap may be black or colorful, but the modern Jewish kipoh for women is feminine, sparkly, lacey, full of beads or embroidery, in other words, it's a palette for creativity! I've been struggling with colored wire kipot, because the beads don't fit through the wire very well for me, and also the color tends to chip off the wire. I prefer Artistic Wire - this is wire with a vinyl coating and has a very nice feel. But I know some artists who just beat the pants off me with the wire kipoh concept, and I'm ready to try something else.

Okay, enter Beadwork's Fall 08 issue. Lo and behold Gwen Fisher has an Archimedes' Star bracelet that to me, a Jewish girl, looks like interlocking stars of david in a strip. I'm thinking I've gotta try this in the round, one star and then the others circling it, in essence, a kipoh.

First I tried it with pearls, because Gwen's directions call for two sizes of seed beads and of course while I have a whole box of seed beads I don't have the right sizes in harmonious colors (!!!) Pearls of course have small holes and don't tolerate multiple pass throughs. (One day I'll talk here about my ladder stitch peas bracelet and how to make this over, what a disaster.)

I have these amazing beads from Leslie at Twisted Sistah Beads (see link at right->), who I first met at the Bead Expo in Allentown's Fairgrounds two years ago. She has put together these Miyuki bead mixes - well, she has either mixed them or got them as mixes - in size 10 triangles - woo ee! So I put together two of the colors (well, really three, if you can see the subtle shading) from Sea and Sand Mix in Gwen's pattern and here is where I am so far ~

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