Monday, November 9, 2009
Beading inspirations and challenges – Smoky Agate and Moonwalk memories – Bead Society of Victoria (BSV) 2009 Bead Challenge
Each year the BSV holds a Bead Challenge associated with their annual Bead Expo. All entrants purchase a bead pack and they must use all beads in the pack in their design. This year the pack contained agate, pearls and Czech glass with just a hint of apricot. Their soft glow reminded me of moonlight. I don’t usually work with such understated colours so I knew a challenge was ahead. Mind you I had known just I just what a challenge those moonglow beads would bring I am not sure I would have started the project. Yet, I am delighted I did. I was thrilled to learn last night that my my entry to the 2009 BSV Bead Challenge Moonwalk Memories (pictured here) won first prize and came second in the Public Vote for the challenge.
I began designing my BSV challenge entry the week that Michael Jackson died. My partner was a great Jackson fan so the event was very present in our house that week and much of its early design was done to the sounds and sights of Michael Jackson. I quickly decided to use the two beautiful pieces of smoky agate that are it’s centre with the challenge beads and I rifled through my bead stash to find other beads I thought might help the design process. But, then the challenge began in earnest. I had several failed attempts at integrating the challenge beads with the smoky agate and I found myself undoing and redoing work on the piece throughout that week and the weeks that followed. In frustration I put the piece away and considered just giving up. I moved onto other less challenging projects but what became Moonwalk Memories niggled at me. It wasn’t until the last few days before the entries were due I finally found a way forward and I charged ahead with the remaining beading. Of course my way forward involved discarding some of my previous beading efforts. I was finally pleased with the design. Proudly showing my partner the finished entry the night before I was due to send it off I realised to my horror that I had left out a large Czech glass bead I was required to include. Moonwalk Memories was challenging me yet again. Miraculously, inspiration came and I made changes that actually improved the design and included the Czech glass bead. I was finally ready to post my entry to the challenge but there was one more challenge left – what to name a design that had challenged me since it’s birth. My partner suggested Moonwalk Memories. I liked it. The beautiful smoky agate at it’s heart reminded me of the dark side of the moon, those challenging soft apricot beads reminded me of moonlight and 2009 was the 40th anniversary of the first time humanity walked on the moon. Whilst my challenges were not quite in the order of those that got humanity to the moon this seemed a fitting title. It also seemed a fitting way for me to remember the life of Michael Jackson – after all his moonwalk and his music had surrounded the birth of my design in the week of his death.
If you pop by the BSV website you’ll see the 2009 Challenge Beads but more importantly the fabulous designs by past winners - http://www.beadsociety.com.au/. The site is a great place for some beading inspiration.