Monday, October 25, 2010


Progressing...., originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

He is coming along. I made some metal clay stars and sewed them on. I think it still needs a little more on the border....not sure yet. Does it seem wasteful or extravagant to use PMC on this? I like that I can make specific shapes for it utilizing the metal clay. I probably should learn how to use bronze clay or copper clay. But silver is so damn easy and clean... I like that about PMC. I suppose if I run out, I'll figure it out but for now I have 15 packets of clay to play with. So I might as well, right?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tolima man body complete

Tolima man, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

I am getting there. I want to add some embellishments. Tomorrow I am going to make some metal clay decorations to use.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Almost Completed Tolima Man

I have learned a lot from this piece.
1. I like working on a pre-stretched painting canvas. It reminds me of my roots in painting. One of the things Robin talks about in her book is to make your base fabric meaningful to you. For me, that is canvas.

2. Always start in the middle. I made the frame first and made things much harder for myself.

3. Color the background first. I left it white. Since then I bought a variety of Sharpie markers. I will not only draw the design first, but I will color it as well. So much for free form. Not for me. Not now.

4. Keeping the lines straight in the satin stitch is not that easy with beads. With much practice, I should get there.

5. I still am not sure how I want to frame this. I probably should have used some black gesso first. At least around the outer perimeter.

6. I like bead embroidery very much. I feel I can be creative again in a way I cannot with jewelry.

I already have ideas for other pieces swimming in my head. I need to keep a journal since each piece takes so long. If I don't write it all down I will forget my ideas.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tolima Man....

This is my latest  bead embroidery project. This time I have more of an idea of what I want to do. The design is based on a Tolima style breastplate. I have always been inspired by Mexican artifacts. The original, which was made of gold, was pierced in a very interesting way, as you can see in the photo below. I will try and post more process photos as I go. I love the matte black AB beads. The colors are really lovely.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bead embroidery project

I don’t know where I am going with this yet, I just know it is something I need to explore. I recently discovered a wonderful book by Robin Atkins. It is about exploring meaning in your life through the use of embroidering with beads.

Many years ago, when I was a hippie living in a teepee in upstate New York, I began my artistic explorations with embroidery. I would sit for hours at a time and embroider denim jackets, blue jeans etc. I did it for my friends and family, mostly for free. No one charged for things in those days. We were such free spirits.

It was my first foray into being an artist. I was all of 22 years old.

After moving to Key West Florida, I became inspired by an artist friend, Eileen Seitz or Cheina, as she was known then. For many years I painted in oils, watercolors, pastel. What ever I could find. I painted tropical flowers,
banana trees, as well as still lifes of mangoes and papayas and other luscious tropical fruit. In the mid 90’s I moved to Boston and stopped painting. I had to get a day job and the both the daylight and my energy were all used up by the time I got home at the end of each day.

I still very much needed a creative outlet and so I began to learn jewelry making. I do enjoy it very much but lately I am feeling the need to go back to my roots in the art and painting world. I thought I would try this new medium of beads as paint.

This is my first foray into beads as a painting medium. I have no idea what it will look like but for now it is about getting my creativity flowing as well as my stitch work perfected. Embroidering with beads is quite different than embroidering with thread.

I will keep you posted.