Thursday, May 19, 2011

Iris Backsplash: In the Beginning

When I  left you in the last post you knew that Iris were my inspiration for the backsplash that I was going to make for behind the cooktop in our kitchen.  One of the first jobs after we decided this project was a go was to make up the substrate for the piece,  the picture above has it cut to size.  Our first purchase was trim to go around the edge so that the piece could be attached (and removed) from the wall and the trim will cover the screws.  I wanted to use some tiles around the edges to help frame up the piece so they were the next decision and purchase.  You can see the metal tiles sitting in the middle of the background.  I marked up approximately where the trim and tiles would go so that I could figure out where the Iris would go.

In this photo I have roughed in where the flowers would be going (you can click on the photo and it should show it larger).  I used the original scale drawing as a general guideline but since the tile is different than the original vague ideas I made adjustments.  You can also see the grid that I sketched on to make placement easier and which I used to help figure out how many square inches of bead I was going to need to order.

I used mastic (tile glue) to glue down all of the metal and glass tiles.  If you look closely at the top center you can see where I ran 2 short of the blue tile.  Something else will be added there later.

In this picture you can see where I have taken my rough sketch and firmed and cleaned up the idea and then used markers to outline the areas.  Wayne suggested adding more leaves so there would be less background so instead of 2 leaves the flowers now have 3-4 leaves each.  I used  this to try to figure out approximately how many seed beads to buy (more guess than not).

Wow,  I ended up with a 7 pound box that was mostly seed beads for my mosaic and the big question was; would this be enough?  Enough or not it sure was fun opening the box. I had a couple of colors that were backordered so would have to start on something that didn't require them.

And then it was time to start I put all of the values and shapes of green beads out on a tray and it was time to start playing.  As you see these photos realize that each bead is added by tweezers one bead at a time.  I tried using my fingers but even using the larger 6/0 seed beads my fingers just got in the way.  Even doing this with tweezers it has gone faster than I expected it to.

I started the greens by doing each of the stems first and then added leaves here and there working back and forth across the piece.  Doing this way had two goals; the first was that since I had pulled some beads from my collection that were the correct size but that I didn't have a lot of I didn't want them to end up in all in one flower and that as I worked at different times how I approached the values varied and I didn't want that to show up.

I generally approached the leaves by doing the outside edges first,  this gave them fairly smooth lines along the outside,  I also chose the leaves that were in front to do first, hoping to use value and such to separate the  front and back leaves.

Here you can see a bit more of the value changes and  the different shapes, values, and finishes on the beads.

Here is where the leaves stand at this point, the disadvantage to guesstimating the amount of beads that I needed was that I ran out of some of my values of green beads and will need to order more,  not sure how I got it so wrong (wonder if I figured out how many before I added the extra leaves).  I am waiting to order more beads until I figure out if I just went wrong on the green or not.  The hour count on the leaves at this point is 19.  I have been tending to work using quarter hour segments so that I can keep track of the beaded part of the project.  The little dots on the bottom are copper leaf beads that you will see better when we add the dirt next time.

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