Today I finally finished the cuff that I started planning when the Art Bead Scene blog announced their January Challenge. It features Botke's 1940 oil painting Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons.
Jessie Arms Botke
Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons
I'm almost embarassed to admit how long it's taken me to get the focal bead the way I wanted it. I'll write a post about it later in the week, but for now let it suffice to say that getting the bead right was the most time consuming part of this project.
I actually had the leather base cuff on hand because I've wanted to start using some leather carving in my work. I sketched out the feather pattern and traced it onto the leather and cut the design into the leather.
I used a small awl to punch small holes around the section where I wanted the focal bead so I could add some beadwork representing the ferns and feathers in the painting. Then I painted the eyes of the feather with the colors found in the painting and painted a leather dye the color of the dark ground onto the rest of the cuff before sealing the whole thing.
As I've been working on perfecting a design for the peacock focal bead, I've been making small lampwork beads to use as persimmons, but it wasn't until after I finished beading the center portion that I decided how I wanted to bring the persimmons into the design. Since the back of the cuff was barren I thought that was the perfect place to add some embellishment without detracting from the focal area.
I like that, although the beaded persimmon tree is on the right side of the bracelet, when you close the cuff, the persimmons can be seen from the left, just like the painting. Finally, once all the beading was done, I lined the cuff with dreamily soft deer leather in the same color as the pathway in the painting.