The Battle Of The Beadsmith 2014 is underway!
Some of you may remember the Mad Max movies from the ’80s and the quote “Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves” from the third movie in the series. The Battle Of The Beadsmith is a tournament in which there are several “battles” between two designs, with only one entry from each battle making it through to the next round, where again they will be paired off and voted on until only one remains. Thankfully though, that’s where any similarity ends. The only hazards associated with the BOTB are pricked fingers and sore fingertips, sore shoulders, neck and back as well as sleepless nights and worsening eyesight … the usual beading hazards.
The Battle Of The Beadsmith is the brainchild of Steven Weiss of the Beadsmith Company and in his own words: “In an effort to create more awareness of some of the incredible bead artistry being executed by bead masters worldwide, I thought it would be fun to set up a beading ‘tournament’ where original works can be viewed, shared, and celebrated both by the participants, and the beading public alike. 256 seed bead artists have been invited to participate in an elimination “tournament” to determine which piece of their original beadwork best captures the imagination of their fellow designers, and the beading public.”
This is my first time in the contest and I have been paired with a seasoned battler from Austria, Svetlana Hackl. My inspiration came from the land and sea around me on my beautiful Island home Malta. The sea urchin shell in the centre of my design is one from my collection that my husband, with the occasional help from my two sons, finds for me from the seabed around the Maltese Islands. My blogpost here gives some details on the preparation of these wonderful shells.
I wanted the sea urchin to be worked on top of fish leather, the latter to be partly visible through a design of beads framing the shell. I ordered some gorgeous pearlescent fish leather and was overjoyed when I opened the package and saw that it matched perfectly with one of my pink-beige shells, they seem to have been made for each other! The lines running down the shell are echoed in the beadwork, with the final touch being a beadwoven starfish at the centre of the shell.
The shell is flanked by two stylised dolphins inspired by the Baroque dolphins found all around Malta. I worked the eyes using a variety of Miyuki beads around Abalone shells, with Czech dagger beads for an extra touch of fantasy.
Please join the Facebook Group and browse the photo albums to view the designs. You may find my entry in Group C, Battle 1. Wish me luck!