Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reflections on Women's History Month

Thanks, everyone, for your kind and encouraging comments on my blog-ode to Women's History Month.  I'm glad you're enjoying the journey.  I am too, and enjoying your comments!

Midway through March, I'm realizing what I love about Women's History Month.  Yes, featuring amazing women and their experiences/achievements/hopes/dreams/inspirations is a big adventure for me.  But mostly, it's the stories. 

And it's the stories that feed my love of bead embroidery, too.
A new creation: Quan Yin
In looking at the bead embroidery I do through the lens of Women's History Month, I saw, for the first time, the stories wrapped up in the jewelry.  Sometimes, it's the story of how the pieces come together.  Like the necklace above: The photo of the flower in the art cab above comes from my garden.  I have a statue of Quan Yin that guards the front door to my home and my garden.  The two components happened to end up on my worktable near each other as I was sorting beads.  The story just came together as I moved the pieces around, but also honor the mythology of Quan Yin, who cried tears (of garnet, here) for the people she loved but couldn't always protect, until one day she climbed out of the cave in which she lived (at dawn, as illustrated by the blooming flower) and said, enough!  I bring my people love and strength.

Frida Kahlo necklace, 2012
Here's another example.  Frida Kahlo is an artist I admire for her art and for her resilience in an often trying life.  She pulled together broken pieces of her body and of bridging life in two different societies, which influenced her work as an artist.  I surrounded this self portrait of Frida with bits of millefiore chips, to show how the bits and pieces of life create a larger story.  Beauty often is built on (and because of) the broken pieces.

Another new creation, Gaia.  Inspired by Joan Miller's gorgeous porcelain focal piece
This was another happy story on the bead table.  I've had the pink bead embroidery completed around the metal Goddess stamping for a couple of weeks, but it just didn't feel finished.  Kinda, eh.  Because, I realize now, there was no story.  Until I received this scenic porcelain cabochon from Joan Miller.  Immediately, I connected the story, and Gaia evolved.  

Now, I think of my beadwork in yet another way, as a means to tell a story.  (So maybe I don't have to be so hard on myself for not making the time to write stories.)

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