This week I am going to be focusing on one slightly larger project instead of lots of smaller ones, and this project is a small chest of drawers jewellery box. In the world of micro mosaicing you have to bear in mind that small is relative, because the size of the beads mean that even small jewellery boxes are big projects.
To put it into perspective, I spent last week working on what I call mini micro mosaics. How can a mosaic be even more mini than micro you ask? Well some of the things that I was beading last week are barely bigger than a ten pence piece and so do not have a lot of surface area to cover. This brings it's own set of challenges as the pieces are hard to hold and bead at the same time.
This weeks project is a wooden box, more or less 9.5 centimetres on every side. It has three little drawers in it to put jewellery in and I had designed an owl theme to go on it several weeks ago.
|A blank jeweller box, pre design.|
I should tell you a little bit at this point about my Granny. Probably not what you expected to read given that linking from micro mosaicing to Grannies is not a natural segue, but in terms of owls, Granny is my big inspiration. She passed away several years ago, but for the entire time I knew her, she was crazy about owls and I find myself mosaicing them so often that I am obliged to point out that wherever she is now, she may be influencing me in my choice of subject matter. Grandad was a bird lover too, but I have no idea if that included owls because anything owlish that came into their house was automatically Granny's. They were both amazing people and I owe most of who I am today to their love and inspiration, so thank you, both of you, in whichever afterlife you reside.
So back to the box. I had this idea of owls in the branches of Autumn clad trees, some sat right out in plain sight and others peering through the branches. I am definitely more of a Spring and Autumn girl, disliking the extremes of weather in Winter and Summer, although I live in England so it is mostly rain whatever time of year it is! In Spring and Autumn though it is a lot more colourful rain, or at least things to see through the rain and so this box has been inspired by Granny and the gorgeous array of colours that you find in the Autumnal canopy over here.
I have to say that this project is a combination of mini micro mosaicing and regular micro mosaicing though, because the owls themselves are small die cut wooden blanks that once beaded are being glued to the box before the leaves are added afterwards. I like the idea that this will bring some sort of 3D texture to the box rather than every thing being on the same level.
|Some half finished smaller owls.|
|The pupils of the eyes are black sequins.|
Today, Monday the 22nd of January 2018, I made pretty good progress. Four of the smaller owls are now done with the beading, I stuck the big owl and two smaller ones on the top of the box and did the eyes on the drawers. I am really excited with how they have come out. There is an awesome feeling in having an image in your mind, one that only you can see, and then being able to produce that image onto your canvas of choice so that everyone else can see it. It must be the same sort of feeling that artists and sculptors have when they see a blank canvas or a piece of un-worked wood or marble.
I also started on some of the foliage, which led to more inspiration, often these projects lead me along by the hand, taking my original ideas and running with them. In this case it was about the size of the beads used for the leaves. The first beads I used were bright red and relatively large compared to some of the other beads I have in my arsenal. This led me to think that changing the size of the beads I use will also add texture to the piece. My biggest regret of the day was reaching the time that I am scheduled to stop mosaicing and go onto the other more boring parts of the job!
|Top of the box|
The bigger owl just had gaps around the central eye piece so I beaded inside them with very tiny beads so that they were more or less the same colour as the closed in wooden parts of the smaller owl eyes. The two little owls may look a bit lopsided at the moment and my child critics called me out on that, asking whether that was a mistake. I don't think you are ever going to find an owl home like this in which the owls sit in straight lines though, so I stand by my guns, confident that full foliage will make the whole thing look fine.
|A birds eye view|
I am quite thrilled with how the owls eyes that are peeking out of the foliage on the drawers came out, I think they look friendly and fun owls, what you can see of them! I managed to finish the other two smaller owls pictured above with the silver as well, so it was quite a productive beading time today, even if I could have done more if time permitted. I need to get up earlier in the morning I think.
So tomorrow's plans are to do four more small owls, these have only been coloured in and have no beads on them yet, so I at least want to get the cream and brown bits done if possible. I want to glue the two other completed owls onto one side so I don't accidentally lose them and then I wish to get more of the foliage on the top and front done. I will show you how I get on tomorrow evening!
Bright Blessings, Nici xxx