Friday, May 24, 2013

Learning to Bead for “Walking with our Sisters collective art project”

I’m learning to bead. This will be quilting related – one day. Ultimately, I’d love to create quilts with intricate beading in them. How cool would that be!

Several hundred people and I are beading as part of the “Walking with our Sisters collective art project”.  Here’s a description of the project:

"600+ moccasin tops are being created by hundreds of caring and concerned people to create one large collaborative art piece that will be installed for the public in various galleries and sites across Canada. They will be installed in a winding path of beaded vamps on cloth over a gallery floor. Viewers would need to remove their shoes to walk over the cloth and walk along the path.
An audio recording of traditional honour songs and grieving songs is also being recorded as a non-commercial CD that will be the audio portion of the installation.
This project is about these women, paying respect to their lives and existence on this earth. They are not forgotten. They are sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, aunties, grandmothers, friends and wives. They have been cared for, they have been loved, and they are missing."
Practice Piece - Beaded Moccasin Vamp
The artist leading the project is Christie Belcourt.  Check out her website.

View examples of moccasin vamps (tops) that have already been prepared. They are amazing to see. 

A few women who work in the same complex are meeting every Friday during lunch time to bead. There are a few artists in the group who had never beaded. Wow. It`s awesome to see talented people create - even in a medium not their own.

Here’s my practice moccasin vamp. We were told to use a design that meant a lot to us or our culture...so of course, my design is a quilt block.

I’m glad that I create a practice piece because I learned that:
  • it’s true that you shouldn’t cram too many beads together (a little space is good);
  • if you cram those beads in, it’ll make your straight lines go wonky; and
  • as with anything else, you really do improve with practice. 
Now I have one month to make the two “real” vamps.

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