Friday, February 14, 2014

Making up a Beaded Stumpwork Figure

  Many early beaded baskets incorporate thick paper or playing cards for the foundation layers of different pieces of their design~ I chose to use a thick vellum for the foundation of my angel. I first lightly drew my design on with a pencil. In the photo above, I have first stitched my little angel face into position. I drilled threes small sets of holes for this, one at each shoulder/side of the chest, and one thru her head behind her eyes (not to worry, she was knocked out and didn't feel a thing).  The very bottom part of her gown has been couched straight to the vellum, as has half her bodice.
  Next step is to pad up her arms~ I wanted them to look like arms...not flat like her gown, so I stitched a base layer of old muslin in each area, and lightly stuffed them with wool. I then attached her hands by stitching them on thru the little wired loop at the wrist. If you are interested in purchasing a set of head & hands, they are in my blog store  here 
   For her bodice and sleeves, each row of beads was laid on in a single line, then couched down around the previous row every 5 beads or so, to hook them all together
  For her skirt, I started with a beaded wire bent to the shape I wanted. Now remember here, clothing will be a weird wonky shape when you are beading it flat, and will be much that when placed on your figure it will drape nicely.
  I filled the shape with couched beads, like I did on her bodice, but not so close and pulled them apart a bit for a nice lacy look. I added the little beaded loops at the hem last
   Quite dainty, and heavy. My husband even remarked how heavy this piece was when held in the hand.
The wired edges made her skirt fold like a dream~ for now, it will be set aside and attached to the vellum after her wings and hair are complete.


Robin said...

Thank you for the pictures and process notes, Rachael! As a beader for 30 years, the author of seven beading books, and an amateur researcher of folk beading, I've seen many beading techniques. With your work on this basked, I see how the need to "just do it", how the origin of creativity is necessity, works. Your angel's skirt is fabulous. To have basically "invented" it is an achievement you can be very proud of!

Btw, I sent you an email via your Etsy site asking for your permission to show your basket on my blog. Tricia has already given hers. Hope to hear from you soon.

flyingbeader said...

WOW just love your use of stumpwork and beads to create such an amazing piece. I make beaded dolls and never have I seen such devotion and care in producing this masterpiece. I'm so happy Robin shared your blog with our group. I'm going to be following your blog to see the amazing work you accomplish