Skip to main content

Swan Mask.......Or Not?

Alright, for several years I have wanted to create a beaded mask. I knew I didn't want to use a foundation to work off of, but instead make a free standing structure. Until I came across this Venus of the Sea Mask by Catherine of Beadmatrix, I had no idea what direction to go in. Her creation can be found here:

Using brick stitch as a starting point is what I needed. I started work on my mask last August. Here is the picture of my first few rounds:

And with the original swan I cut out of copper:

Not keeping the eyes ovals was my first mistake, but little did I know the consequences of being a beady smart alec and trying to mimic the shape of actual human eyes. For those of you wanting to make a beaded mask, keep it simple, stupid. That will save you a lot of grief and heartache later down the road. KISS!

Continuing onward: After much struggling to keep my beadwork flat, I gave up the chase. Art is all about compromise is it not? So here are the next several rounds taking on a life of their own. Notice the beginning of a defined brow ridge. Evidently I was thinking of my brother's facial features or something....

Things only got worse from there! How you say? Oh just watch......the dumb thing started to permanently wink at me! Look...

Do you see that? The eyes aren't even open. Not one bit! Grrr..... It's bad enough when guys constantly hit on me, but my own beadwork? I can't have that. So, you know what I did? You guessed it, I sewed in some new eyes and gouged out the old ones with my handy scissors!!!!! Mwahahahahaaaa!......

*image deleted due to excessive gory content*

Yeah, I don't have a picture of that step, as much as I would love to show you the insane amount of flyaway thread, exploding levels of green and brown beady blood, and general chaotic frenzy. Don't worry. I fixed it all up over the week or so of snow days. You can hardly see the suture marks and surgery scars now. :-)

After this point, I did a marathon of beading over two crazy sleep deprived weekend nights while my girlfriend was at work. I was there too of course. The Spot is a good place to bead,
especially since the apartment was stifling at the time. *Note: clean house more often.

Back to the mask. Here is the completed beaded base accompanied by my embellished swan, just to see if they actually fit together:

Although the colors go together fabulously, the two pieces obviously (or so I'm told) don't go together. The only really constructive criticism I got during the making of this thing was from Jenna earlier in the week. She graciously pointed out that they don't blend together and the shape of the eyes are in no way similar. After letting this sink in for a little while, my frantic crazy stressed out brain gave in and said.....well dang! I can still make the Friday deadline. Why not just enter the thing as is and finish the straps? And that's just what I did!

Here is the mask full view, complete with embroidered trim and fabric that have been edged with seed beads to add a clean line to the frayed edges.

Side view showing the double knot for fastening:

Detail of the eyes and nose:

Detail of the forehead decoration:

See! It looks like a moth, doesn't it? Either that or a bat. I decided on moth for competition purposes.

Can anybody tell me who left this dismembered head on the sidewalk? And what in the world is that on its face?

Well, there you go! Approximately 80 hours of work. One moth mask ready for entry into Beadwork VII: The Beaded Earth. Wish me luck! Any volunteers for human models???? Anybody?

Feedback is appreciated. :-)

The swan is an adventure for another day.

Popular posts from this blog

Revisiting My Old Loom and A Warp Finishing Tip

Today is an exciting day! I've remembered a warp finishing technique that I've only tried once before and it appears to be successful. :-) But first..

Have you ever been working on a long term project with a self imposed deadline when suddenly your brain derails you with an urgent need to try out a different technique? Well, that's what happened to me this past week.

I was happily plugging away at my embroidered Tetris blocks when I got to thinking about beading on a loom. Mind you, I fall into the beader stereotype of having learned at a young age to loom and enjoyed every second up until dealing with those pesky end warps. Needless to say that I moved on to off loom stitches within half a year or so. I have occasionally gone back to the loom for certain projects, but inevitably get disgusted with the fuzzy mess at the end and abandon future ideas.

Somehow, this time it's different. I wanted to make bracelets for my two best friends. So now I have some new delicas and…

At Long Last! Bead Looming Warp Finishing Made Easy!

Hello all!!! I am super excited to announce that I have finally finished my newest diagrams to show you how to easily finish off those pesky loom warps. Illustrator is always a challenge for me, but I did it! *whew*

Since about March, I have been on a bead looming kick. Meaning I made about three full pieces between my other projects this year. It's been nice to return to my beading roots after so many years. 13 year old me would be very proud.

Here is my original post on the topic of looming in warp threads:

Revisiting My Old Loom and A Warp Finishing Tip

And now, to bust that myth that beaders around the world agree on: Looming is too hard because warp threads are such a pain. Not true! Observe:

That's all folks! It's just that simple. Traditional methods have you weaving in each thread through a multitude of beads (and sometimes even breaking them with too many thread passes). Some have you weaving a selvage edge and covering it up in some manner. Others have you using t…

January BJP progress

Welcome to the wonderful world of Allison's Antics, where procrastination abounds and new ideas are constantly left in the dust! This should be the new tag line for my life. (Shame on yourself, Tamara.)

I can't believe it's been four years since my last attempt at the Bead Journal Project. Wow. Let's get started shall we.

First of all, you might want to know what I've chosen for my bead embroidered theme. Well, I wanted to go small-ish. I have been sorely neglecting bead embroidery for the last couple years and want to ease back into the process. Sooooo.......always with a usable end product in mind, I chose to do an Art Deco styled necklace each month with three pendants. Each will depict a portion of one of Henry Moore's textile designs from the early 20th century. I just love the patterns and have wanted to make inspirational pieces for quite some....months.

Here is the piece I chose as inspiration for January. Why not just start with my favorite and go from…