Three takes on Magatamas using Herringbone Stitch and Russian Spiral
Winter in Vancouver is tough. Sure, it’s not freezing cold like other cities in Canada, but it’s dark. That’s the main reason you haven’t heard from me in months. Each year, I take a break from photographing my work because the lighting is terrible. I’ve tried to photograph my jewellery a few times since my last post, but it was not pretty.
So, I present to you my beadwork from this winter. I’ve been figuring out how to use long magatamas and fringe drop beads.
“Deco Garland” is the first in the series. Named such because these red lined drops just look so juicy like a garland of very vibrant grapes. It was created with herringbone stitch.
I loved these long magatamas when I bought them at the Fraser Valley Bead Show last March, but it was a bit of a challenge to find a use for them. I finally discovered Russian Spiral and am so pleased with the effect. The stitch is supple and surprisingly easy. I have two slightly different shades of long magatamas here, and the great thing is beads are at different angles. I named this one “Swirling Stunner” because it’s very different than anything I’ve done before. It’s also an allusion to the my favorite artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who referred to his models as “stunners.”
The final necklace I’m going to share is one of my favorites because, yes it’s acid green, but it’s also easy to wear. I’ve worked three sections of Russian Spiral – my new favorite stitch – to pack in a lot of shine and texture. I’ve named this one “Chemical Wedding” as a cheeky reference to Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz – an alchemical text about a king and queen who are resurrected for their wedding. The colour and the shape made me think of a very unusual bride. I imagine zombie queens might glow acid green, or at least be able to carry it off.