Thursday, June 22, 2006

bead embroidery by by Robin Atkins, bead artist
Mountains & Streams
Framed Bead Embroidery

Quick post late tonight to get you through tomorrow, as my husband and I are going to "leave the rock" (the island where we live), and head for "the mainland" (via a 1 hr 20 minute ferry ride). I'm posting a picture of a framed piece of bead embroidery that I did for a commission. It was the best possible kind of commission, because she told me I could do anything. In return, I told her that if I work improvisationally, by the time it's finished I'll like it. If she didn't want to buy it, no problem. As it turns out, she was most eager to have it. This is the picture I sent, so she'd know what she was getting.

Saturday or Sunday, I'll post this piece in progress and talk about how it can look like mountains and streams, yet still be improvisational.

The thing with pictures, at least of my bead embroidery, is that two dimensions doesn't cut it. My work is very textural with a lot of surface fringes and other raised techniques. Most of that is lost in pictures.

What's challenging about commissions, is that I get attached to a piece as it takes shape... it begins to have personal meanings, many of which are deep and important. I hung onto this piece for several months after finishing it before I could part with it, and had to get very stern with myself before I could actually mail it. Fortunately, my customer was quite wonderful and understanding.

One day soon I'll put this picture on my website, with a link to a full sized version... until then hope you like "Mountains and Streams" of the Pacific Northwest.


  1. I LOVE it! What a wonderful textural work of Art!

  2. Ohhhhh myyyyy!! Just gorgeous!! I love the dimensionality and texture of it!!! Wonderful!

  3. Ohhhhh myyyyy!! Just gorgeous!! I love the dimensionality and texture of it!!! Wonderful!

  4. I'm at a loss for any words that can describe how much I love this piece. HB and I lived in Colorado for several years and this just takes me back there.

  5. S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G !!! Job well done

  6. Thanks for your music-to-my-ears comments!!! Hope you'll enjoy reading and seeing about the process of Mountains & Streams in my June 24th post. It's so much fun for me to share my work with you in this way!

  7. Wow, Robin....
    How big is this piece?
    There is no one who does this like you lovely!

  8. The actual bead work part is about 6 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches high. Not as big as one of your CQ blocks, but I think it took me about 400 hours to do. Thanks for your compliment, Allison... although actually there are many totally awesome bead embroiderers out there!

  9. Gorgeous piece. You are very artistic. I've linked to you on my blog. I hope you don't mind:)


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!