Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 Bead Dreams Contest Piece- "Illusive Heroine"- and the Art Creation Process

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February kept me extremely busy as I was working on a large ensemble of glass chainmaille for an international contest called Bead Dreams. The final result and product description:

Upon the chance of encountering danger & oppression, the heroine is always courageous, unselfish, and suffers for the greater good! 
The nature of glass is the perfect balance between fragility and strength, as is the true soul of the Illusive Heroine.  
Nearly 2000 pieces of colored and crystal clear Czech pressed glass and over 3500 black anodized aluminum rings materialize into this resilient, yet delicate, capelet and fantasy mask ensemble.  While focusing on the integration of glass rings and beads into this distinctive costume, over 35 hours were spent on weaving this fusion of original patterns by Kat Wisniewski, based on the European and Japanese chainmaille armor weave families.
Any woman can momentarily transform her identity when she adorns herself in this fantasy costume becoming an absolute tenacious power!


Follow my journey on how the piece came to be and see how many times the design was altered to come up with this awesome final ensemble.



In December of 2011, I finally got started on deciding what I wanted to make, of course not exactly realizing the amount of work that would be needed to create it. I wanted to make something very similar to this cowl neck hoodie scarf:

I quickly realized that it would take me about 7 months to complete this much length out of glass chainmaille and I only had until March to complete it.  So I had to change the design quickly to come up with something just as distinctive.  

I decided to alter the design completely to an asymmetrical neck scarf with button closure.  Something kinda like this:








Here is a photo of what was already completed around the time of changing the design.

So I then completed exactly enough width and length to be able to wrap this design around the shoulders.  I tried and tried to get it to lay properly by figuring out a variety of ways to keep it in place, while still looking attractive, but I couldn't get it to look nice.



I decided to alter the design again to look like this:

At this point, I only had 1 more week to finish the entire piece and I still had wanted to make a face mask to accompany the scarf.  Yikes!


First attempt at the mask turned out very well and I kept building on it without altering the design completely.



I created the mask within 2 days , wrapped up all loose ends on the scarf and then started photographing both pieces on my new head mannequin.  And yet another snafu!  The scarf did not properly fit the neck of my new mannequin, whose neck was thick then the previous mannequin on which I fitted the scarf.

So, I had to figure out how to keep the scarf on my new head mannequin and still look very visually interesting and unique.
A simple double hook with a small bit of rubber cording in between the hooks allowed me to hook both sides of the scarf together around the neck and stay put.




Ahhh, finally I finished and was able to submit the contest entry on the exact day it was due!  Whew!!