Using bits and pieces

Begin – Beaded Fragment Assemblage

In true Begrinner style, I often start making before I know what I’m making. It has been a good way to learn new techniques, and often, one thing leads to another, and I end up with a finished piece of art. I also end up with little starts and orphaned elements. Today I “shopped” my pile of fragments for odds and ends that wanted to play together.

I started with a blank 5 x 7 stretched canvas, and tried on different pieces together. It’s surprising how much the structure of a frame or a stretched canvas elevates what you put on it.

The pieces: a beaded mandala at the back was improvised in circular peyote stitch. At the time, I was on a quest to make flat circles, so I set this piece down when the edges began to ruffle. (I learned down the road that ruffles meant I had increased stitches between rows too quickly.) The central ornament was made from polymer clay, the word “BEGIN” embedded with a painted rubber stamp. The purple rosette was from a pattern in a Bead and Button magazine. Above the word is a dichroic glass face bead among radiating seed beads. I didn’t end up using the netted seed bead elements at the bottom of the first picture.

Next, I painted the canvas background with acrylic paints—dark blue, light blue, hot pink and white:

Painted canvas for background

Once the paint dried, I sewed each element to the canvas, working with a beading needle and thread so I could pass through the beading in several places so the beading is fully supported against the canvas.


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