Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Beautiful, Detailed Bead Embroidery by Janet Dann
I wish you all could see this work in person! It's a testament to the value of those iddy-biddy size 15 and smaller seed beads, and to the detail you can achieve with them. (You can see more detail if you click the pictures to enlarge them!)
The artist here is Janet Dann, a beady friend who used to live on Orcas Island (next "door" to me, as in just a 30 minute ferry boat ride away from San Juan Island where I live). When we met (10 years ago), Janet was making jewelry with beads. But when she saw some of my bead embroidery, she immediately got hooked on stitching.
Now Janet and her husband are retired. They travel the USA in a motor home. While not out exploring, Janet beads. She still makes very beautiful jewelry, but the thing that makes my heart go thumpity-thump is her bead embroidery, especially her beaded bags. Let's put it quite simply... I WANT her to make one for ME!!!!! Also her work inspires me to try beading more realistically. Who knows, you may see some very different work in my 2008 BJP pages.
Technical info: Janet uses inexpensive suede or velvet-like fabric backed by interleaving paper and nymo thread. She designs on paper using library books and the Internet for reference. When she's ready to bead, she taps into her ever-growing stash of the smallest seed beads. Sometimes, as in the bag below, the design grows somewhat improvisationally. In this case she has not yet planned the center of the design.
This will be the flap on an Animal Spirit/Medicine Bag made as a commission piece. She designed each of the animals to be surrounded by things the animal might enjoy in its natural environment.
The grizzly bear has its delicious berries.
The grey wolf has trees, a full moon and shares mountain lupin with the bear.
The mustang has a pasture of green grass, wildflowers and a tree for shade.
The orca whales have the aurora borealis in the northern sky.
Janet has taught herself by trial and error how to make the bags (with lining and pockets inside) and to weave the straps using kumihimo.
Here is a purse she made at her Mom's request featuring a traditional Celtic boar design.
Here is a detail picture of the bag shown at the top of this post, made for her Mom.
Janet welcomes commissions and works with her customers to personalize the designs, imbuing them with symbolic meaning, healing stones and spiritual energy. Her rates, in my opinion, are very reasonable. If you want contact information for Janet, lemme know.