Bead Dreams

by anna on April 7, 2012

in Anna's Blog

I received a letter from the Bead & Button magazine yesterday notifying me that one of my works, Sea Homes, has been juried into the 2012 Bead Dreams competition in the Polymer Clay category. I am very happy and very thankful and want to share it with you.

I am also very glad that I managed to submit my pieces.Now have to take better pictures, too :). Didn’t have time for it before. I was very busy that time, working on customer orders, and just tried to squeeze in one or two hours every evening to create the contest piece. I sent in my entry 5 minutes before the deadline was off and the contest closed! 🙂

I submitted two works – Sea Homes and Suspended – to create a cohesive presentation. I always try to submit works united by some theme and/or technique. Just as I did for the Progress and Possibilities contest when all my entries were dedicated to the theme of architecture, both works for Bead Dreams are one bake hollow forms, united by the sea theme. They are my tribute to the sea life and especially seashells, which are homes for sea habitants, thus comes the name. Strong shells, like fortresses, protect precious fragile life dwelling inside them. So, I guess, they are, in a way, architecture-themed, too :).

Sea Homes is created using one bake hollow form, caning, mokume gane, sculpting and wire-working techniques, as well as 3 to 1 color blend (my invention). I like to use this blend because it is easier to create than Skinner blend, and gives you twice the amount of blend with the same amount of clay. Not that I’m not thankful to the wonderful Judith Skinner for inventing her technique; I think many of us, and especially cane makers, should be very grateful for it. It is that I just prefer to do it my way :). I can do a tute on 3 to 1 blend sometime.

The necklace is strung on silicone aquarium pipe which I got at Petsmart. Using a mini-funnel, I filled the pipe with mix of Ceylon white, transparent blue, and turquoise blue seed beads, to look like bubbles in the water and sea foam. Clasp is handmade barrel clasp constructed using a screw and a nut :). It has swivels, i.e. can rotate independently from the necklace, so closing the clasp doesn’t twist the necklace. If you only knew for how long I craved to make such a clasp! 🙂

Now I have to send the piece in and I am getting a nice (but small) display box for it. I would imagine, with how popular the Bead & Button show is, they probably don’t have much space to display pieces :). On the other hand, when your piece can potentially be exposed to over 100,000 people, you don’t want the display to look crappy :).

Again, I want to thank everyone who supported me, especially my wonderful ever-patient husband Ken, who had been deprived from dinner for a week, while his wife worked on her contest piece :). And, of course, I want to thank judges at Bead & Button for picking my piece. I did enjoy making it, and was happy to receive your letter. Thank you!

Sea Homes


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

NJ April 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm

WOW!!!!!! Congrats on the selection by Bead & Button. I love how you describe your processes and techniques. Such a beautiful piece!


anna April 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Thank you very much! I do love to recycle, that’s why there are many unconventional materials used in my pieces :).


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