The other side of nature; away from the blooming flowers and emerging buds. The darker side, where spores are spreading, insidious and creeping, rooting in anything they can, overtaking and blighting. Alien and strange.
I have never, in my entire beading life, had such a hard time creating a piece. Not only struggling with the concepts and the visuals, but fighting with the beads, the Fireline, the stitches... broken beads, tangles that would not come undone in the thread, false starts, ripped up edges... but it's finally done. To be honest, I have really disliked working with the long magatamas - but I think it is because I use my beads as building blocks in a lot of ways, and the long magatamas only seem to work as toppers for me - not as a place to begin. Many of the artists asked to participate in The Beadsmith challenge came up with lovely, flowing, graceful pieces that made me drool, and I think that some artists would have a lot of fun using them - but for me, they acted awkwardly and did NOT want to be where I wanted them to be. Lisa Peters provided another lovely focal cabochon, handcrafted with incredible skill. I also gave myself more of a challenge with this than I could have, choosing to bezel with matte Delicas, which are notoriously thin walled due to the process they go through when manufactured, so I shouldn't have been surprised by a few broken beads.
No matter how much I disliked, or downright hated this piece, it ended up meaning a great many things to me during the process. Which is perhaps why it was as hard as it was. Lisa's focal is fabulous, but when I looked at it I saw spores... and everything came from there. The more I worked and struggled with this, the more I realized what I was 'journaling' about. Not just the focal, or showcasing the magatamas, but things that are happening for me and around me. This month marks the anniversary of my mother's death 13 years ago; today, in fact - we had a difficult relationship, and I found her when we went to investigate when she hadn't answered her phone. My friend, and inspiration, and more to me than I know how to express, is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer, which came in as one tumor, then two; and then more and more, spreading itself wide. Rooting, if you will, sporing, taking over. I hate Auntie C as much as I love you, Linda. There are places in my life when a seed was a lie; and of course that lie leads to more, and more - and spreads. One deceit is enough to plant that seed of distrust, which will overrun a relationship and smother any love or respect it finds growing there. Then there are the seeds that are planted in us, early on, bringing self-respect and self-image issues, anxiety and depression, which can grow to huge, overshadowing things.
Now done, I am exhausted. I need to find something to play with, something light hearted and beautiful.
Out of all of this... came this. I hope that someone, somewhere, will find something that speaks to them more positively with this necklace, and that it finds a home. I'm thinking it won't stay with me for long... or maybe that's just more hoping.