Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Monthly Challenge

The Conference of the Birds by Habiballah
Page from a manuscript of the Mantiq al-Tayr (The Language of the Birds) of Farid al-Din `Attar
 ca. 1600; Safavid Iran (Isfahan)
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, gold on paper
10 x 4 1/2 in. (25.4 x 11.4 cm)

About the Art
This painting illustrates the beginning of Attar's mystic allegory where the birds begin their pilgrimage in search of the Simurgh (representing ultimate spiritual unity). Under the leadership of the hoopoe (perched on a rock at center right), who exhorts them to be steadfast and unwavering in their joint quest, the birds ultimately learn that they are identical to the Simurgh (which means 'thirty birds'). This illustration depicts a scene from the mystical poem "Mantiq al-tair" (The Language of the Birds), composed by the twelfth-century Iranian Farid al-din `Attar. The birds symbolize individual souls in search of the Simurgh (a mystical bird representing ultimate spiritual unity) and are assembled here to begin their pilgrimage under the leadership of the hoopoe (perched on a rock at center right). The idyllic landscape in which the birds have congregated appears to be in harmony with the late-fifteenth-century Timurid miniatures in the manuscript. The hunter carrying a matchlock (firearm), which is irrelevant to the story, was a popular motif at that time. In contrast, the tree with a snake climbing toward a bird's nest may have been inspired by the same motif on another Timurid folio page. The motif of goats on a mountain is also typical of Timurid paintings. Probably Habiballah used these Timurid motifs to visually align the additional Safavid illustrations to the original Timurid pages.

About the Artist
The painter, Habiballah, who signed a rock in the near foreground (now faint), became a court painter to Shah `Abbas in Mashhad and later followed him to Isfahan, where the Safavid capital moved from Qazvin in the late sixteenth century.

Blog Tour
The Blog Tour deadline is February 27th.
Links must be added to the monthly challenge post comments (this post)
The Blog Tour will be on the 29th.

Monthly Challenge Winners
Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on March 1st.

Our Sponsors
Our Sponsors this month are Gaea and Skye Jewels.
Please visit us tomorrow to see the prizes!

Featured Designer of the Week:
From all the entries during the month, an editor is going to pick their favorite design to be featured every Monday here on ABS. We want to give our participants more time in the spotlight! Our Featured Designer will be this Monday, so get those entries in soon.

How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.
***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply wire or cord will not be accepted.***

2. Upload your photo to our flickr group. Detailed instructions can be found here and click here for a tutorial for sending your picture to the group.

Please add the tag or title FEB ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.
Deadline is February 29th. Photos are approved by our moderators, if a photo hasn't followed the guidelines it will not be approved. You may upload 2 photos a day.

What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.

Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

p.s. If you have a blog, post your entry and a link to the ABS challenge to spread the beady goodness.


Mary Tafoya said...

I love this challenge theme! Coincidentally I started rereading Conference of the Birds just last night! It is a fun read (the passage I read last night made me laugh out loud) and FYI, the artist's name "Habiballah" means Beloved of God. It was probably a pseudonym.

Anonymous said...

Love the painting! Peacocks are the best :)

Cece said...

Great selection. Not sure how I did it so fast, but here's my blog post for the challenge:
Have fun with this one.

Betty S. said...

Have you noticed that your necklace on the cover of your book has the same color and feel of this month's challenge. Although your necklace doesn't have any birds, the center focal bead has the same texture as the peacock tail feathers.
Love it!

Lorelei Eurto said...

Here is the link to my post for the blog tour.

JenHoney said...

Finally got mine posted!

Kimisjewelryandgifts said...

Hi This is Kimberly, I have my blog all finished and here is the link. Thanks so much. This was so much fun.

Bobbie said...

What a gorgeous piece of inspiration artwork! It's my first time participating, and I think I got everything uploaded to Flickr correctly. And my blog post about it is here:

Karin Slaton said...

I had a great time designing a piece inspired by Attar's fabulous poem and art. Thanks so much for introducing me to this epic work!

Unknown said...

Here is a link to my bracelet. It was inspired by the river in the inspiration piece.

Jo said...

I loved this challenge! I had the perfect bead for it, a peacock inspired bead by Mindy Macgregor. You can find it here

Islandgirl said...

I loved the colours in this months challenge... however I made the bead before I saw the colout palete that you picked... Here's my interpretation



Cindy said...

What an incredible piece of art. I was inspired to work with colors that I do not ordinarily work with.... and was happy to pull out some art beads that I've held on to for way too long!

Rebekah said...

Just finished mine! Here's my post about it:

Thanks for the awesome challenge!!

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Better late than never! I just added my earrings to the challenge pool. Hope I'm not to late to be included in the blog tour. Thanks!

I blogged the challenge here:

Sharyl said...

I loved this challenge too! I've made 2 pieces (and just wanted to keep doing more!) I submitted one about an hour ago. I'll submit the other in 24 hours. My blog post is ready to go:

Many thanks! --Sharyl
Sharyl's Jewelry

Anonymous said...

I really loved doing this challenge. I finally got mine posted here:

Thanks for the opportunity!

Beth said...

This was my very first challenge ever and I had a great time making my necklace. Here's my blog (nothing like posting it on the last day, but oh well!)

re-maker said...

Finally finished!

I've blogged about my piece and the challenge here...

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Well, rats missed the deadline. Still would love to post our finished piece though:


Had fun making it.