Sunday, November 27, 2011

August BJP Finished

Robin Atkins, bead embroidery, bead journal project, detail
Can you guess the subject of this piece? I guess the title will have to be Me & The Book! Maybe a little "refresher" about how I do bead embroidery is in order...

First, this is a Bead Journal Project piece, meaning (for this year's pieces) it will be about a significant intersection in my life. August was the second month I worked on my new book. "Worked" is an understatement. I slaved on it, working mostly at the computer, nearly every day of the week for 8-14 hours a day. At that time it was both an exciting, challenging opportunity to teach what I know about beads AND a frightening, draining, daunting 7-month commitment. It was a natural choice for my piece... the intersection between me and the book, how our paths cross.
  • Fabric choices: just what appealed to me; hot color for a hot month, maybe. Or, perhaps my hunch that the book itself will be HOT!
  • Bead choices: with the subject tucked in the back of my mind and the fabric already chosen, I went through some boxes of beads and picked out things I like (love).
  • The rock: it was in with some smaller pebbles I collected on the beach one time. It appealed to me.
I almost always begin beading in the center. The rock was big, I thought, but I was compelled to put it on this piece right at the point of intersection. The rest of the piece developed quickly and without much thought on my part.

When I'm all finished (or nearly finished)... that's when I begin to analyze the piece, deciding which axis is me, which is the book, thinking about what it means.

Robin Atkins, bead embroidery, bead journal project, detail
In this case, the book (see end of this post) was like a big rock in my life... an anchor, a huge, solid mass requiring my full attention and focus. I am the straight line, surrounding the book, not allowing myself to veer away from working on it. The other line, the book itself, is creative, fun, open, developing. It exists beyond my management of it. The last things I added were the long pieces of coral. I think these may reflect the part of me that is having fun with the book, a guiding muse, perhaps, existing outside of my conscious control.

Robin Atkins, bead embroidery, bead journal project, new book
Here's the whole piece. I made the miniature book on top of the rock a long time ago. I'm going to make another one in the likeness of the new book (once it's cover is designed by the publisher) and exchange it for the one that's on the rock now.

It's interesting to note that this piece was me and the book in August. It would be a different picture now that the book is 2/3 complete. I'm not in such a straight, rigid line about it anymore. Yay!

20 comments:

  1. Il est beau aussi, celui-ci. J'ai hâte de les voir réunis. Ce sera superbe ! Bisous et très bonne soirée

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  2. This is a really interesting piece. I'm also working endlessly on a book, not about beadwork, but about quilting, and it does feel quite HUGE in my mind and life right now.

    I totally understand what you mean about being a straight, rigid line, but sometimes, you just have to make something that isn't for the book and isn't about the book. You are allowed to bend. Good luck with the rest of this journey!

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  3. Both this piece and your july-piece are a perfect reminder of your craft(wo)manship! You never cease to amaze me... and I definitely will find a way to get that book over the ocean.

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  4. suespurlock.blogspot.com1:06 PM

    AWEsome!

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  5. Your pieces this year make me pause and think of the crossroads in my own life, that I didn't even realize were there!

    Congratulations on the book coming along so well. I am wondering what crossroad you will be at when its done, or if THAT will be the crossroad.
    xx, Carol

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  6. I love your August piece. Are you putting them together at the end into a wall quilt? Anyway they are all beautiful.Thanks again for starting the Project for all of us to enjoy being a part of.

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  7. Well, this is just soooo freakin' marvelous, I don't even have words for it. You have powerful symbolism, friend, but your driving force - letting the beads take you where they need to go - is a strong lesson for all of us striving to work improvisationally (is that a word?)!

    Love this sooooo much, Robin!!!!!!!

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  8. Those wonderful warm colors really sing to me now that it's cold and rainy. I like the coral pieces, too, kind of growing in their own way, but not straying so very far from the center lines.

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  9. That fabric certainly is HOT! I don't think that I have seen you use a such a strong and determined line to represent you before.

    I love the pieces of coral (surprise, surprise!) and the coral bird nestling beside the rock.

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  10. Well you just put another idea in my head. I'd never thought of using blues with oranges, there there you have it right there & it looks lovely together. Adding the coral pieces too are just marvelous with the flow of the fabric pattern. I don't know if I can wait to see what you did for September.

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  11. when I was looking at the peek view the coral looks like arteries from a heart, and I was thinking it would be a heart! And I see that I was not all that far off, metaphorically I really like this piece and the entire series. I've been MIA but will be doing the Journal Project for 2012.

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  12. Congratulations - so much to be proud of. I am so impressed with your commitment and wonderful creativity!

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  13. i really love your theme this year of the intersections. very thought-provoking as you analyze your pieces. love the hot colors, and i can see everything you are talking about here...especially since i've had an inside view of your process. a masterpiece again!

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  14. I remember Allie going through a similar progression when she was writing her book. She was in an almost fugue state with great anxiety in the first half of the book....then she too began to settle in to herself...and believe that yes, you ARE that good. And YES, you have something significant to share. And yes, it will still be great even if you only worked 8 hours today and gave yourself a nice walk...and maybe you're starting to sleep now?? It's time to breathe...and relish in the whole wonder of it all. You're doing it and the end is in sight. Congratulations.

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  15. The book certainly seems to be inside you and from my experience, creating a book is very much like being pregnant and giving birth, with as much effort, anguish and joy.

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  16. Thanks everyone for your comments! I so appreciate that you come and take time to read/write comments!

    Yes, this intersections idea has been really interesting for me. The next one is about a 40-year friendship, my longest and best woman friend and me. It's especially challenging because we have so much history... But that's only when I try to THINK about it... when I just sew beads with her in the back of my mind, it doesn't seem so daunting.

    Thanks again for visiting!

    Robin A.

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  17. Robin, I am happy to find someone who has done the BJP. I had never heard of it until recently and have signed up for 2012. I love your projects! Very inspiring!

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  18. What a wonderful story this work tells. I never thought about using coral to explain creativity. It fits perfectly.

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  19. Interesting that you say you start to analyse the piece when it's nearly finished - while you are making it, where are your thoughts usually geared to, out of interest?

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  20. Wow Robin! It is really beautiful! Your brad work is magnificent, & the warm colors are sooo appealing in the cold & darkest part of the year!

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