Friday, August 14, 2009

Goodbye RubyFruit-- Traveling DreamCoat #4

I know I'm not alone. We never are.

Sometimes I think that all of us artists live for a time in a dreamworld where everyone is perfect-- except us, all art is wondrous and beautiful, except ours and it doesn't matter what the world says, how many awards we've won, how many contests we've made the finals in, how many people buy our jewelry, how many fellow artists admire it-- it's not good enough.

I say we live there for a time, because I do believe that the art wins eventually. That it looks us dead in the eye and says, "I'm here because I was meant to be here-- it's not always about you." I believe that there is peace then, and confidence, when we realize that the art is strong, that the artist in us is worthy.

I'm not there yet. I'm still in the dreamworld where everyone else is perfect and the only thing that keeps me going is my need to create.

When the Bohemia Espirit Market told me I could join their artistic ranks I was blown away happy. When they told me that, yes, I could have a dreamcoat for a couple of weeks and do with it what I would I was over the moon happy.

Then it got here 8 days ago, and whoa, it was beautiful just as it was. The responsibility! What was I supposed to do with it? The trust! What if I messed it up? The fear! What if what I did wasn't good enough? What if everyone suddenly discovered that I wasn't the artist they think I am?

These beliefs don't disappear overnight. But every now and then we're allowed to give them a good kick in the teeth that diminishes them a bit. That's what RubyFruit helped me to do.

When I pulled things from my stash I really had no idea what I'd do, or where. It was more of a 'this looks like it might work. Work as what? Well, you know, work. Somehow.'

And everything sat in the box. I'd pull it all out every now and again, discard that, add this.

The day before yesterday I just started. First, I decided not to use the MAKUstudio cab I wanted to use. Mak's tile looked better. I like the shape more, so I wanted to keep it-- but no-- RubyFruit said it was going with her. OK-- so how to attach it?

I did a backless bezel-- my second bezel and my first backless bezel-- not in safe black but in a really cool burgandy-lined amber. I started the bezel and just got lost in the beads. It got dark and stormy. There were lightning strikes on both sides of our home and the power went out-- there was just barely enough light to keep beading, so I did.

Here's the back of the tile with Mak's (Mariannne Kasparian's) signature.
I stitched the tile on by going through the bezel to the fabric. The needle didn't want to go back through the glass beads because they were tightly woven. The knit fabric is also tightly woven and I had to overcome my fear of messing the fabric up by stitching through it. Then I ran some garnet chips around the edge.

I liked it, but wasn't done. Yesterday I attached a clay button by Lisa Peters Russ up above the tile. Both of these pieces were gifts with the purchase of other beads.

Then came a sterling silver Isis pendant that I picked up in Alexandria, Egypt years ago. When you spend enormous amounts of money sometimes you get free stuff. Note, being all wide-eyed and young and mannerly probably doesn't hurt.

I still liked it-- and still wasn't done. I wanted to include a polymer clay bird skull replica by Dee Wilder of Malodora-- another gift with purchase. I told Dee they were all wonderful, but I liked the free one the best. So there it was, the last of 6, and I had to use it.

Arrangement became an issue and I decided on an arrangement of four other pieces around the three that I had already-- something that was part game pieces and part medicine wheel-- though everything I know about them came from Chakotay.

More stash raiding ensued and I unearthed a fossilized shark tooth that I bought off a Florida diver and a piece of kyanite that I acquired through more conventional channels.
Kyanite is a personal favorite of mine, since I first laid eyes on it a few years ago. It's a soothing, healing blue and nicely earthy. I attached it today.

Then I attached the bird skull.

At this point I still didn't have a plan for the fourth piece. Nothing satisfied.

I started looking at every artisan piece that I have-- but none of them were right. Then I remembered a baggie of Paula Radke glass that I acquired in Tuscon in February. Out it came and there, on Paula's business card, was a free dichroic bead in a lovely lavender shade. I wrapped it with copper, hammered the spirals flat and stitched it on.

I'm done.

Out of curiousity I looked up medicine wheels and I found out they they usually have four points, but can have six. North is earth/wisdom-- well represented by clay. South is passion/fire-- well represented by Isis. East is air/flight-- well represented by blue and a bird skull. West is water/emotions-- well represented by the prismatic color of the glass and a shark tooth.

Interesting, no?

Goodbye RubyFruit, and thank you. I'll pack you and your gifts up and send you to our Wild Woman PattyMara tomorrow. I'm begging Wonder off of Kay (On Slender Threads) now-- certain that we'll come up with something together.

For more on the DreamCoat Project checkout the Bohemia Espirit blog on 1000Markets.

Check out the Bead Art Originals Items of the Week!


  1. Well...I know how you feel....and I love what you have written. Thank you, Sarah, for featuring my raku in your journey. I love the Egyptian connection!

  2. You've done yourself proud, Sweet Sarah! :D You trusted the beads and your artist soul, and everything came together as it was meant to.

  3. I loved reading about your creative process. An inspiring post. I can't think of a better place for one of my little skulls.