Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bird Song

"Bird Song" is my entry in the April Art Bead Scene monthly challenge, and I decided to add an additional twist to the challenge: no seed beads!

Here's the inspiration piece:

Finches and Bamboo, is ink and color on silk and dates to the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). It illustrates the suprarealistic style of flower-and-bird painting preferred by Huizong's Painting Academy. In such works, the artist displayed his intimate knowledge of the appearance and growth of plants and his ability to render accurately the movements of birds as they hop about or stand poised ready for flight.

The artist, Emperor Huizong (November 2, 1082 – June 4, 1135) was the eighth and one of the most famous emperors of the Song Dynasty of China, with a personal life spent amidst luxury, sophistication and art but ending in tragedy. Born Zhao Ji, he was the 11th son of Emperor Shenzong. In February 1100 his older half-brother Emperor Zhezong died without a surviving son, and Huizong succeeded him the next day as emperor. He reigned from 1100 to 1126. Huizong was famed for his promotion of Taoism. He was also a skilled poet, painter, calligrapher, and musician. He sponsored numerous artists at his court, and the catalogue of his imperial painting collection lists over 6,000 known paintings.

"Bird Song" is a mixed media piece, starting with a base I hand knit using two colors of silk thread. Using two threads resulted in a lovely random coloration effect and gave extra "heft" to the base. Leaves formed of triple layers of silk taffeta; they are intentionally random and frayed. Driftwood forms the branches for my birds to perch; the bird beads are hand cast pewter from mamacitabeadworks on Etsy.

The clasp is also formed of driftwood and highlights one of the lampwork glass beads from mattskiss99 also on Etsy.

This is a really different piece for me; working without my seed beads was very difficult - and no, the small red beads are not seed beads, being perfectly round, they're just small.

Available for purchase here.


  1. As always ~ you blow me away with your talents and how you are able to visualize a project and make it come to life. You're a wonderful artist. Thanks for sharing! AND ~ Happy Spring! I bet it is uplifting for everyone's spirits on the island when the ferry is making it's runs again and the horses return. :)

  2. You certainly stayed true to your goal to not use seed beads! I love all the different fiber work. It's a gorgeous piece that captures the painting wonderfully and it looks like it would be super comfortable to wear! Love it!

  3. Gorgeous!! Hermoso. Me fascina!! Una obra de arte!!!