Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Inspired by Reading: The Bees

This month's book club selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club was The Bees by Laline Paull.  I really tried to get into this one... I gave it way more pages than I normally would before giving up... but after 170 pages I finally had to let it go.  For whatever reasons, the story of the lowly sanitation worker bee, Flora 717, just didn't do much for me.  To me it seemed like strange circumstances just buffeted Flora from one job to another in the hive... jobs that she should never have held.  Since I didn't read any farther, I don't know for sure, but it felt formulaic like she was just going to keep getting new part time positions all the way up the chain of command.  I also had a hard time with the mixing of what felt like authentic bee behavior with the anthropomorphisms the author gave the bees.  

Not liking (or finishing!) a book didn't stop me from playing along!  Just don't be looking for deep symbolism here!  Anyway, I have a bunch of bee themed beads in my hoard so it was a challenge to decide what to play with first... especially knowing I might not finish more than one design at this late date.  In the end, I chose to start by playing around with a little design set that I bought from Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio at Bead & Button this year.  There was actually a third piece to the set, a matching round bead, that I ended up not using in this necklace but I'm sure I'll eventually find the perfect use for it!

I had some copper wire that I had darkened with liver of sulphur a while back (memo to self... I need to patina another batch soon) that I used to make my wire wrapped links.  My design started with the ceramic donut from Michelle's design kit.  I knew I wanted to use it as a wire wrapped link so I dug around and found some yellow Mookaite coins to balance out that side of the necklace.  for the other side I did a mix of Mookaite faceted rondelles and smooth yellow agate rounds in a honey yellow.  I had a vision for the back part of the necklace to be strung with a mix of Czech glass and seed beads so I wanted something a little different for the clasp.  I decided to dust off my wire working skills and try my hand at a copper hook clasp.  I used raw copper and then antiqued it with liver of sulphur.  It's not perfect, but pretty good for a first try!

Next up: a necklace featuring a pendant by our very own Andrew Thornton he made for Allegory Gallery's Sweet Honey Challenge.  I love the way he created the effect of honeycomb dripping with honey in this polymer and resin focal.  I added a little raw brass bee that I "antiqued" with some black paint.  (I actually started out with a different, darker brass bee from Vintaj, but it didn't pop like this one does.)  As I was pulling beads together I thought that this would be a good time to use some little hexagonal hematite beads as well as some honey colored Vintage German glass.  I strung those with some seed beads and tiny Czech glass rondelles for one side and went with beaded links for the other. using Czech glass flowers and rounds.  I guess I was just keeping up the asymmetrical theme!  I love how this one turned out and I don't think I can bear to part with it!

I also whipped up a little seed bead and jump ring bracelet in colors that made me think of honey and a button that TierraCast calls "Flower of Life" but I think looks like honeycomb... especially in this gold plated version.  This one was made with some lovely metallic leather from Tracee Dock's shop Classic Elements.  These seed beads have the loveliest glow that I'm afraid my picture doesn't capture.

Thanks for stopping by to check our my latest book club creations!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely bee designs Sarajo. I admire you perservering despite not liking the book. I passed on this one but have read the one for next month ... All your pieces are super and very bee like!!