Tag: Daisy Beads
Once I had put together my coiled pot of cord, and, at the very least, I could feel I had something to play with, I had a look at how to assemble the parlour dome display.
I intended to set the pot upon a little velvet cushion; that will give the sense of something “presented” rather than simply stashed away from the dust. Furthermore, I had some cotton velvet in a sort of inderminate brown, taken off a piano stool, which I thought would combine being unobtrusive with being sufficiently present. However, my first attempt to stretch the velvet over the padded card has left me with something that sticks a bit, and raises the card (and thus anything on it) rather further than I anticipated. More thought needed here, I feel.
While that thinking continued, I thought I might as well play with the whole display, to find any other difficulties so that I could think about those as well.
The tea-dyeing has worked, I think: the daisy beads stand out nicely, but it’s not the sort of high contrast that would overwhelm them.
And I think the beads flowing out of the pot and down onto the velvet work as well. The textures and scales seem to be properly in tune with one another.
But I think the pot is too tall, and the violets stick out a bit too much. Violets are “mat forming”, apparently, so I would expect them to follow the contours of the lid a little more closely, shading the beads.. And somehow, with the pot so tall, I feel that the violets can’t breathe.
And indeed, although this photo is rather hurried (you can even see the pin holding the violets in place), I think it shows what I mean. The shorter pot gives the violets more air, and somethow that makes for a pleasanter display.
However, I do still need to find a solution for the Problem Of The Cushion!
You may recall that I had an idea to combine the Daisy Beads and the Stumpwork Violets into a little display under a parlour dome. The colours and scale don’t work with the main panels, and besides, both items are tied specifically to Mary in a way that nothing else is.
My first thought was a gold trinket pot, but so far I have entirely failed to find a pot of the right sort of dimensions. For some reason, everything I could find was too wide or too high, or not the right surface for gilding.
So after some frustration, I decided to tie the display back to the excavations by using a coiled pot made using braid or cord. It should be slightly reminiscent of the baskets used to carry away spoil from the excavations.
After some experimentation, I settled on piping cord, sewn together with ordinary sewing cotton as I wrapped the cord around a former (a spice jar, since you ask). Even that involved some unpicking and restitching.
When I’d done it, however, it was too white and stark, not a kindly background for the Daisy Beads. Hmmm…
So that is how I found myself tea dyeing a coiled pot made of piping cord!
Two elements that sprang into mind very early in my work on the Amarna panels were the Clump of Violets and the bead necklace. The violets are to call to mind Mary’s exasperating experience, familiar to any language learner, of having useful vocabulary and structure retained only with the greatest of efforts, while the entirely useless just sticks – in her case, the Arabic for “violets” stuck in her head with no difficulty, whereas the words for “bread”, “bath”, or “dig” proved recalcitrant. The bead necklace is my reinterpretation of one of hers, owned in childhood and subsequently lost, like the necklaces she helped to excavate.
These two pieces link directly to Mary, and not to Egypt itself, and because of that, and because of their colour, they don’t sit well with the main panels, and I was left somewhat perplexed about them. Until something brought parlour domes to my mind, and the lights went on!
I thought that maybe if I used the clump of violets to top a golden trinket box, and allowed the necklace to spill out, the two pieces might live together happily as my representation of Mary herself. I found a small round cardboard trinket box and sprayed it gold (a very pale, insipid gold, it turned out, too, not at all what I wanted!), and began to experiment.
I think the whole thing needs to sit on a cushion within the dome, and the trinket box should be between the tall experiment and the short one in height, and a little narrower to allow the leaves to droop over the edge.
So while I work on achieving that, I have put away both violets and beads, and replaced them in the dome with the Glittering Nightcap.
Which is so happy that it is refusing to give it back, and I will have to buy another parlour dome for Mary’s trinket box!
In “Nefertiti Lived Here” Mary Chubb describes excavating a necklace, and being reminded of a bead necklace she had as a child, partly by the delicacy of the necklace she was working on, and partly because the fact that she had no idea where it had gone gave some insight into how the excavated necklace could have been lost in antiquity.
Of course, she didn’t describe the necklace very much – she only said it had daisies on it – but I want to include some trails of daisy embellished lengths of beading, hanging off the edge of one of the Dreams of Amarna panels. Beadwork is not a technique I’m very familiar with, so it’s yet another adventure into the unknown!
I wanted to make sure that there was some variety of colour in the green strands, and I used this “bead-spinning” pot to thread a random selection of green seed beads onto a strand. I got a little carried away here, because it took me some time to get used to the technique. I discovered that, strongly right handed though I am, it was more successful to hold the needle in my left hand, and turn the spindle with my right. In the end I had at least a couple of metres of bead strand waiting to be used, and I still have a metre left!
Here is a close up of the beaded strands I have created, with very simple bead daisies interspersed with lengths of the green beads. I’m rather pleased with it. It has the sort of delicacy that would have been considered suitable for a little girl in the early years of the twentieth century, and I can just imagine a small Mary gleefully rattling her beads and feeling very grown-up!