This is a piece I have been working on for about a year. Actually it has been brewing and bubbling since 2006, when Mr. B and I had to travel to a job site in San Diego, and had some time to visit the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. A wonderful exhibit called Symbols of Identity: Jewelry of Five Continents was there at the time, and I just happened to have my sketchbook in my bag. I was particularly taken with something from Tibet- some kind of back ornament, I think- long and heavily laden with silver and tassels. This is the result of my enchantment, long and heavily laden with, well, stuff I had laying around the studio, of course. Beads. Pieces from a disintegrating quilt top I rescued from the trash at a laundromat when I was in my twenties. A large Pellon spiral I had cut for another project that didn't work out. Rubber stamps, hand carved by me and printed on more Pellon with metallic paint. Hand made tassles and deconstructed costume jewelry. Little things I constructed just because. More beads. (It's no secret. I have lots of beads.)
I had to put it away for a few months when it was nearly finished. I had simply lost my way with it. As often happens, the subconscious was still working on this piece while the conscious was applying itself to other projects, and when I brought it back to the work table a few weeks ago, I knew how to finish it.
I approached this project a little differently than I usually do. I usually begin with vague notions and optimism, but no real plan. This time, I began with detailed sketches, scribbled notes, little samples of embroidery, and a pretty clear idea of where I wanted to go. It was a good feeling to get those last stitches in the binding, stand back, and take a good long look tonight. Did I create the thing that was in my head? This time, yes, I think I did.