Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Art Beads Inspired by Frida kahlo's painting Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

                         Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Frida Kahlo

Each month Art Bead Scene posts a painting, or other piece of art work to inspire readers to create a piece of jewelry and or an art bead.  On our Beads Monthly Challenge Pinterest Board this month we have several new art bead artists to introduce you to: Andrea Salkowe of Josephine Beads; Cate Van Alpen of Fulgorine Beads; Julie Wong Sontage of Uglibeads and Sue Evenson of Tres Jolie Designs by Sue.
Last month, you may remember I wrote about the bead artists inspired by Emily Carr's painting.
You can view that post Here.  This month the artists I mentioned above have been inspired by Frida Kahlo's painting Self- Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.

I will begin with Andrea Salkowe of Josephine Beads.  This is her first time submitting beads for the Art Bead Scene Challenge.  She writes that she was inspired by the primitive aspects of Frida Kahlo's work in combination with  the sophistication of her style.   She believes the beads pictured below capture these two elements of Kahlo's painting.

I love the primitiveness and yet sophistication of Frida's painting and life. These beads I created have that feel to me. Thanks for letting me join the board!
                     Ceramic Bead by Andrea Salkowe of Josephine Beads

Andrea's career as an artist has involved many different mediums but  now her favorite is clay.
Here are a few examples of "her tiny works of art" as she calls her beads.

          Set of 10 handmade ceramic glazed art beads cubes "box numbers"Set of 10 handmade ceramic glazed art beads cubes "box numbers" on Etsy         

  When I corresponded with Andrea about her work she shared her ideas about bead making with me and gave me permission to post them here:

My objective is to challenge the definition of the word bead, to enable jewelry artists to stretch their imaginations, exploring ever changing possibilities in color and texture.

Wikipedia defines the bead as a small, decorative object that is formed in a variety of shapes and sizes.and that is pierced for threading or stringing.  This seems very narrow to me. Having painted on many mediums in my life, I consider my ceramic beads and pendants as intimate 3 dimensional canvases. The options are endless and take me on a never-ending journey. I truly hope that those who love to create will travel along with me, incorporating my bits of art in their own creations.

Beads have been in existence for over 40,000 years. Buried in ancient tombs to carry their story into the next life. These little objects of adornment tell my storya diary or journal so to speak, leading up to where I now am and where my dreams might take me along lifes journey."

When I asked Andrea to share some pictures  with us of her beads illustrating some of these ideas she sent me the following ones:
Set of 7 handmade quirky wordy ceramic glazed hollow art beads jewelry pendants  "stream of consciousness"
Set of 7 handmade quirky wordy ceramic glazed hollow art beads jewelry pendants "stream of consciousness" by Andrea Solkowe

Set of 7 handmade ceramic glazed art beads cubes with amazing surfaces "crawling cubes2"
Set of 7 handmade ceramic glazed art beads cubes with amazing surfaces "crawling cubes2 by Andrea Solkowe

You can find more of Andrea's work at Josephine Beads on Etsy


Next we will meet Julie Wong Sontag of Uglibeads. Julie is a lampwork bead artist from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  She tells that she first was smitten with beads at a very early age by a necklace in her mother's jewelry box--a loom woven piece made by a Canadian First Nations craftsperson.  At 12 she bought her first bead book  Beads!! by Stephanie Tomlin.  Today she is a  full time  self supporting lampwork artist.  She is proud to report that she is not self-taught and that she loves to learn.  She has been making lampwork beads since 2001 when she made her first strand of Ugly Beads.  She still has it and it morphed into the name of her business:  Uglibeads.  Julie says she picked that name because it "reminds me of the importance of learning and growing, and giving myself permission to try - and fail - at new things. When you first start making stuff, whether it’s jewelry, art beads, poetry, music, whatever - your first attempts aren’t always pretty. Why should they be? You’re a beginner, right?"

Julie's submission on Pinterest for this month's ABS Challenge is pictured below:
APR ABS Monthly Challenge. Art glass lampwork focal bead by Julie Wong Sontag of Uglibeads. I was drawn to the leaf motif, and also picked up on the shimmer of the dragonfly and butterfly wings with some reflective silver areas. The mysterious penetrating eyes of the cat are echoed in the dot patterning. You really have to click on the full view to appreciate all the details and subtle silvery color reactions in this one! #uglibeads

When I asked her about her inspiration for this bead she told me "Most of the time, inspiration happens organically for me. When I saw this month's challenge, I was very drawn to the colors and symbolism in this powerful, almost hypnotic self-portrait of Frida. I saw in it her strength, bravery, and resilience. The color palette was informed by the Monthly Challenge, but the meaning in the bead grew out of a very emotional and moving experience I'd had that day. When my beads can tell a story and communicate a feeling, I feel I've done my job.

When the bead emerged from the kiln the following day, I was not surprised to see the subconscious influence of the painting's intriguing details. Of course, the leaf motif, but also the shimmer of the dragonfly and butterfly wings, and the mysterious penetrating eyes of the cat echoed in the dot patterning."

Here are 3 more photos of Julie's Work

     Aurora Headpins  by Julie Wong Sontag
 Hollow Beads by Julie Wong Sontag

Crossroads by Julie Wong Sontag

If you would like to see more of Julie's work, I have listed several options.  Currently her Etsy shop is closed but it will reopen soon.
www.facebook.com/uglibeads   she tells me this is her most active online presence
www.uglibeads.wordpress.com  this is her blog and has lots of information about her beads
You can read an interview Julie did with Esfera Jewelry HERE

Our next bead artist is known to the ArtBeadScene community as a jewelry designer but this month she  posted on our art bead Pinterest board her first attempt at bead making.  But truly she has been making many many beads for her jewelry pieces for some time now.  She is excited about being able to offer some of  her beautiful work as jewelry components.  Lets meet Sue Evenson of Tres Jolie Designs by Sue.
Below is pictured her beads Frida's Leaves

Frida's Leaves Ok, so this is my first attempt at making some sort of bead-like elements. They are made of transparent polymer clay, painted, baked, and then glazed. Holes can be made where needed, using a heavy duty needle or a polymer clay tool (or something like it)
Frida's  Leaves from Tres Jolie Designs by Sue

Sue Evenson says that she has  loved working with her hands and making small things since childhood.  She took those skill into her career as a dentist for 15 years. While a dentist, she used her free time at home to let her "creative spirit go wild" painting on walls, furniture, fabric, clothes and glass.  Fifteen years later, when she decided to stay at home with her 2 young children, she began making jewelry.  Her medium is polymer clay.
Sue tells us about how she works and makes her "beads.
"When you speak about beads, as far as my work goes, I guess they are not your typical beads. Because of them not being traditional, meaning having a some sort of ‘hole’ in it, I have really never entered the ‘bead’ challenge board.  When I design a piece, I have some sort of plan in mind, but I don’t usually put any holes in them until I actually start piecing it together. This allows me to have more freedom as to where I may want the ‘beads’ to go.
I may try and make more beads that I can envision other artists being able to use in the future.  But, having a piercing tool is so important!
I really do so enjoy these challenges.  They have really made me push the envelope!"

Unique Hand Made Polymer Clay Abstract Medallion Statement Necklace
Unique Hand Made Polymer Clay Abstract Medallion Statement Necklace by Tres Jolie Designs by Sue

               Unique Handmade Polymer Clay Statement Floral Necklace~Swirling Flowers~very lightweight

Unique Handmade Polymer Clay Statement Floral Necklace~Swirling Flowers by Tres Jolie Designs by Sue

                                  Unique Handmade Polymer Clay Statement Necklace~Crackled Black Feather-Like Shapes

Unique Handmade Polymer Clay Statement Necklace~Crackled Black Feather-Like Shapes by Tres Jolie Designs by Sue

I am looking forward to seeing Sue offer some of these beautiful leaves, medallions and flower as beading components.
You can see more of Sue's work
Sue's Etsy shop
Her  Flickr Site
Her website 


Our next artist is Cate Van Alphen of Fulgorine who currently hails from the Uk England but spent the first half of her life in South Aftrica;  She is a polymer clay artist who has a varied career as an artist including traditional painting, stained glass and computer animation (she has a degree in computer science.) Cate began working in polymer clay in 2009.  She likes polymer clay because it allows her to work with with both color and texture.  She reports that she has even used polymer clay as paint--again combining her two passions: color and texture.

Cate's 2 submissions to the Bead Pinterest board this month follow.
 Hollow polymer clay cabochon, olive green brown and champagne filigree
Hollow Polymer Clay Cabochon by Fulgorine

Unique green polymer clay art beads, round 12mm diameter
Unique Polymer Green Beads By Fulgorine

When I asked Cate about her inspiration for her beads this month she tells me that

"I'm fairly chaotic and intuitive when I work. When making beads my inspiration usually starts with a colour combination that speaks to me. I try to make my beads with different shapes, sizes and textures so that I can combine them in interesting ways to make a finished piece of jewellery. Often my pieces of jewellery start because I'm inspired by the interaction of beads I find together in my workspace. There's generally a lot of trial and error to find something that looks right. "

Her beads cover a wide range of expression but always reflect her love of color and color combinations.
Kinetic cylinder bead pendant, wire wrapped polymer clay art bead, wine indigo yellow
Kinetic Cylinder Bead by Folgarine

Purple pinstripe polymer clay orchid, unique focal bead slider pendant
Polymer Clay Orchid by Fulgorine  

Stone wall components by Cate van Alphen
an example of some of her textured beads  --you can find out how she made them on her blog post

You can read more about Cate van Alphen at the links listed below
She has some free tutorials Here
She actively blogs Here
You can find her on Facebook Here
She has two Etsy Shops: one for beads and one for her jewelry
I hope you have enjoyed meeting these art bead artists today.  If you would like to participate in the art bead challenge you will find all of the necessary information on how to do it HERE

The ArtBeadSceneTeam and our readers look forward to seeing what you make and how you were inspired.
Thanks so much for stopping by today.


Unknown said...

Some of the pictures seem to be broken in this post :/

Mary Harding said...

Thanks Nicole for you message. I have since been able to fix them. They are all there now.

Unknown said...

Wow again I'm going to say what inspirational artists I am pleased to say that I am being introduced to. Thank you Art Bead Scene!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this really enjoyable post! I'm honored to have been featured alongside these other inspiring artists! Looking forward to participating in future Monthly Challenges. Thanks for the great inspiration! -- Julie

Sweet Willow Designs said...

Such inspirational artists. It's always fun to see how various artists apply the inspiration.