At this point I took a break for a day, and just spent some time staring at the art beads I had picked out, figuring out their placement, and what else I would need for the other elements of the piece. When I sat down next, this happened:
What a difference, right? Lets walk through all the elements:
Close up of the blue tree. I know you've already seen it...but this is still my favorite part of the piece.
These two skulls are made by an Oregon ceramic artist, Dana Swisher. As far as I can tell, she does not have an online presence at all. I get her beads and pendants at Kaleidoscope Studios when I visit back home. I used some lighter colored seed beads to mimic the little bush at the base of the blue tree, and nestled the skulls in the bush. It is an October challenge, after all!
When I first saw the inspiration art, I had some anxieties about incorporating the pink/purple section. Firstly, I didn't even know if I had enough beads in that color. Secondly...PINK...ew. But, using a combination of two different colors of 11/0's, a 6/0, and two colors of large Czech farfalle (peanut) beads, it definitely resembles the swath of pink through the painting, down to the variegation. I had to throw in one of my favorite shapes too...a nice fat drop to end the single fringe.
For the white tree, I started with a base of freeform herringbone. I edged it, mostly to stiffen it up, and made a few circular bridges between the branches to keep them in shape. It looked a bit one-dimensional, so I added some embellishing layers on top of the herringbone for texture. Then I stitched some of my buddy Jan Onipenco's lampwork beads in-between the branches. She has a Facebook page for her Molten Mayhem lampwork beads, and an Etsy shop as well. I love that they not only incorporate the orange of the distant hill and trees, but also the pink/purples. Here is a closer view of them:
With a necklace this involved, I often opt for a simple strung strap. In this case, I knew that one side needed to be the creamy color of the sky, and the other needed to be the darker orange of the distant trees. I went with some vintage Japanese lampwork beads that I've been hoarding for years, and spaced them out with coordinating seed beads. A tiny TierraCast toggle finishes off the necklace.
And, I always have to try for a beauty shot - this one showcases all of the incorporated art beads in one fell swoop.
Again, thank you to the awesome team at the Art Bead Scene blog for hosting these challenges every month! As always, you can follow my daily bead exploits on my Facebook page, or browse my Etsy shop at any time! You can follow along as all of the participants add their photos to the Pinterest board. I will edit this post with a link to the blog hop at the beginning of November when they post all the participants! EDITED 10/31/14 - the reveal post is up! Check out all the cool stuff over on the Art Bead Scene blog!