Monday, September 29, 2008

Fossil Record

Aside from the many thousands of seed beads that I plan on attaching to the Tiamat dress, I also planning to add a number of interesting stones, pearls and other objects in the same color scheme.

Included in this miscellaneous category are two fossils I picked up at Dave's Rock Shop (pictured above). They are orthoceras fossils, from the Ordovician to Devonian period in the Paleozoic era for any fans of the fossil record. (Of course, this may only be relevant information to other former Montessori students.) One measures about 6 inches long, the other under 4 inches. I'm working on beaded bezels for them, but they will be the focal pieces of the top of the dress. (The one with two pointed ends will be placed just at the point of the v-neckline of the halter.)

The temptation to go back to Dave's and look for more interesting things is almost overwhelming. I say almost, because I already know this dress is going to weigh a ton, and I don't need to add any more rocks to it.

Vanessa Walilko

Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry, Beaded Dragon Sculpture and Chainmaille

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Creation epic

Anyone familiar with the Enuma Elish (any Ancient Near East scholars in the house?) has heard of Tiamat. In the Bablyonian creation epic, she is the personification of primordial darkness, the inchoate abyss. While most sources online connect her with salt water, Alastair McBeath writes in Tiamat's Brood: An Investigation Into the Dragons of Ancient Mesopotamia that Tiamat is the fabric of the universe. And while the epic ends with (spoilers ahead) Marduk slaying Tiamat and forming the heavens and earth with her corpse, she can never actually die because she is all things. She can only be contained... for how long is up to debate.

But what does this have to do with beadwork?

Over a year ago, I had a flash of inspiration--a bead-embroidered dress, a work of monumental proportion to rival the phoenix necklace, and even the Dreams of the Fallen collar. It would be an homage to Tiamat, a resurrection. And as such, it would have to be similarly epic.

I'm happy to report that after periodic agonizing, I've finished the construction of the dress. I made the dress from satin-backed crepe, piecing together a halter top pattern with a gorgeous Vogue skirt pattern. I fused interfacing to almost every piece in order to strengthen it, but I'll still be putting Lacy's Stiff Stuff in between the dress fabric and the lining to ensure that the beads (and oh, there will be a lot of beads) don't weigh down the dress so much that they tear up the fabric. I really love the train on the skirt... I think it captures Tiamat's watery, abyssal qualities.

Now to add the beads...

Vanessa Walilko

Handcrafted beaded jewelry, beaded dragon sculpture, chainmaille, and certifiably insane projects

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

14 Karat Ring on Etsy

Check out my newest listing on Etsy, a mini French beaded flower ring with 14 karat band. Due to a custom order falling through, I found myself with this cute little ring. I'm hoping that someone can give it a good home.

I love the way the beads catch the sunlight.

Vanessa Walilko

Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry, Beadwork Sculpture, and Chainmaille