When I talk about bead embroidery, I’m normally discussing the intuitive type. However, that’s not the only art form out there!
Image – Robin Atkins
Where did bead embroidery originate? I’m sure that there are readers that will know more than I do on this subject, so I hope that those people (and you know who you are), pipe up with a little more information.
I’d like to start with a definition according to Wikipedia: “Bead embroidery is a type of beadwork that uses a needle and thread to stitch beads to a surface of fabric, suede, or leather. Bead embroidery is an embellishment that does not form an essential part of a textiles structure. In this respect, bead embroidery differs from bead weaving, bead crochet, and bead knitting.” In other words, if you cut the beads off, the underlying surface will not fall apart! Just think what would happen if you tried to do this with bead weaving? Tinkle, tinkle, bouncy beads, all over the place!!!!! LOL! Quick, get out the vacuum!
Image – beadsmagic.com
Google the term, and you will come up with a ton of eye candy! If you do the same for the intuitive variety, you will even see some of my pieces pop up! It tickles me pink every time I see them! More showed up, when I was actively involved in the Bead Journal Project, but I guess those have been bumped for more recent pieces!
Now Google First Nations, Native American, Tambour, Metis, German, Russian, Ukrainian, and any other ethnic group you can think of!! There are tons of images out there!
Image – Naomi Smith
Image – Catherine Sequalino Poitier
I am obsessed with this art form! I work intuitively, so my work is more freeform than others, but each type has its own beauty! I’m most familiar with First Nations, Tambour (French couture), and contemporary embroidery (cuffs, necklaces, frameable pieces, etc.). However, one of our new BeadFX customers, recently showed me photos of traditional Metis work, and I was just blown away! Why didn’t I know about this art form before? Their floral work is simply amazing!
I bead both flat, and 3-D pieces (dolls), in a variety of sizes (even really teeny ones!). I have addicted (err, introduced) many students to my process in BeadFX workshops, love my visual journaling approach, and teach what I love! Isn’t that what it’s all about? If freeform, and intuitive isn’t your thing, then BeadFX even has instructors that teach both First Nations, and Tambour types of beading! It’s all wonderful!!!
Where will my future beading adventures go? Well, I’d like to bead an orb! Then a little leather, a bit of felt, and perhaps a piece of clothing (now where did I put that jean jacket?)! I’ve never made a bead embroidered necklace, but then again, I don’t really know where I would wear one. But, I could certainly do a cuff!!
This is a huge subject to cover, but I do promise to explore it further, in future blog posts!