Tuesday, 4 September 2012

EDM#44 and burnt beads


I went for a walk with hubby in Kenwood today, it was warm and grey and kind of muggy, strangely pleasant though. We went to the duck pond and suddenly I remembered that I had not done any EDMs yesterday or today. So, I thought it was the perfect location for EDM#44, Draw an animal. There were no ducks around but I found two pigeons perched on a tree. They were very still as if they were posing. As soon as I started drawing them, they moved, of course. So, the pigeon on the right ended up looking like a parrot. But there are parrots in Kenwood, so there, I could always say it was meant to be a parrot. The truth is that lately I have been very distracted by... beads. So here is the story. On Friday I went to the library to browse in the art section, and my attention was drawn by a book on the history of beads. I flicked through it and I was hooked. It was a magical experience. Beads have been part of human history for over 30,000 years, they appear in all the human cultures. And they can be seriously beautiful. Apart from the Murano beads with which I am very familiar as a Venetian, I discovered Chinese beads, African ones, ornamental ones, shamanic ones. Oh, I liked those, made of bones, teeth, bits of wood. I thought I could make myself shamanic necklaces, picking up little stones when I travel, and collecting unusual beads. A whole world of beads opened before the eyes of my imagination. I spent the following day browsing for beads on ebay, millions, trillions of amazing and not so amazing beads. They are made of all sorts of material, glass, plastic, wood, and, yes, polymer clay. The Chinese make tiny funny clay beads in the shapes of animals, the Buddha, teapots and what not. So the seed was (tragically) planted. I had to, absolutely had to, make my own beads. I happened to have some fymo (that's the upside of hoarding), and I got working. I made marbled beads, rabbit beads, and, of course, "me" beads. I put them on a tray, shoved them in the oven and in no time at all... the smoke was so dense you had to wear a gas mask around the flat. Poor Me and Rabbits, completely charred. I sat like a child who's just dropped an ice cream, until hubby shook me by the shoulders and said, Try again. So I did. And here you are: charred rabbit on the left, me in the middle and not charred rabbit on the right. Ok, they are not the best beads you've ever seen, but hey, what a journey!

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