Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Iris as Inspiration

As I got ready to start blogging about my newest really big project I realized that I wanted to show some of the background of how Iris have inspired some of my previous pieces of art.

The purple Iris shown here are happily growing in my garden, my Mother sent them to me from her garden in Iowa and before that they were in her Mother's garden.  I think Iris are incredibly beautiful flowers and there are so many varieties out there that no matter what color you like you could probably find some to please you.

Since I started beading Iris have shown up in several of my pieces and I am sure that like other flowers will continue to show up.

The first beaded piece I made that used the Iris is my necklace below.  I made it for a contest at Turquoise String Beads in Fall River, Massachusetts where I got my beading start.  They were having a summer themed contest and I designed this piece for it.

After I started doing bead embroidery I knew that I absolutely had to make an Iris piece.  Even with size 15/0 beads (which are quite small); I knew that the piece would have to be fairly large to get the details that I wanted.  I had this purse that gotten at a charity sale and realized that it would be the perfect canvas.  With lots of photos of Iris in hand I played with ideas until I came up with what I wanted.

I used 50 colors of seed beads for the purse to allow me as much freedom with values as possible.  The Iris has some ruffled edges to the petal which helps give dimension to the flower.  This purse is still one of my favorite pieces that I have made.

My pond piece was inspired by some Iris we saw in a little pond when we were hiking  in New England.  I mad this piece to enter into the Bead Dreams contest for their crystal category.  The Iris in this piece is entirely 3-dimensional and was added after it was made.

At Bead Fest in Philly last year I took a Mini Mosaics class from Joan Babcock.   In class we learned how to make mosaic pendants using seed beads instead of tiles.  I loved the idea, how cool and "what if...."

Oh how I love the "what if"s,  when my creative brain slams in to high gear and takes me for a ride.  What could you do with this technique only bigger?  A mirror frame?  A piece of wall art?  Or how about a backsplash for behind our cooktop in our kitchen?  Mmmmmm......  I like that idea.  We didn't have our builder put in a backsplash because we didn't like any of their options, we wanted something more interesting.  I had been trying to think of a really cool idea for over the cooktop and then we were going to use that to pick the rest of the backsplash for the kitchen.

Since we weren't in a huge hurry I could take on this project which I knew would be a big undertaking.  The project started with measurements and a to scale drawing so I would have an idea of what I wanted to do.  Hmmmm.... what did I want to do?   At this point we had already painted the kitchen blue and copper.  Nature has always been my go to inspiration and the idea of using Iris just jumped out as an image that we would enjoy year round and could pick up on the blues and coppers in the room.

The scale drawing was a rough idea and gave me an idea if I could make it work and what I wanted to use and to see what Wayne thought since as always he was funding the project (luckily he doesn't have to pay me by the hour).

The photo above has the drawing that is sitting on top of the substrate that I am using for the mosaic.  I will leave you with this and continue with the project in my next post.  If you can't wait you can check out the photo album of this on my facebook page.

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