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

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I am just seeing all of this now. What the hell.....

    I am loving it, however.