Monday, April 20, 2015

Bead Mosaics Louisiana Style - the workshop

My first night at the NAEA convention, I attended a hands-on workshop enthusiastically taught by Virginia Berthelot.  If you were at the convention, you no doubt saw the lovely Virginia, perhaps wearing her beaded dress, cowboy boots or hat (pictured above and below, along with her beaded Starry Night and other sample mosaics), or other beaded garb.  I make a lot of bead jewelry, and I've done a little free-form bead embroidery, so I thought it would be great to find something else I could do with my beads.
But this was a Louisiana workshop, so of course we used Mardi Gras beads, though any of my letover beads would work just fine.  Most of the workshop attendees finished their piece at the workshop, but I was slow, and finally finished mine at home a few days ago.  (Which means, of course, that my suitcase was stuffed full, not only with my clothes and shoes and convention goodies, but also with a mountain of Mardi Gras beads!  One more strand and I think it would have been overweight...)
I sat outside in the sunshine finishing my piece, and while I originally had a concept/plan, my results at this point were determined by which beads I had shoved in the suitcase and which were left behind in the hotel room. I started filling in the gaps with whatever beads I grabbed.  So I am NOT in love with my paisley mosaic.  I had trouble photographing the finished piece, and I don't know which way is 'up', so here it is below, twice.  (I was sloppy and got a lot of glue on the frame, so now I need to figure out how to deal with that...
 Anyhow, I was far more impressed with the work done by others at the workshop (and also by the fact that they actually were able to finish!!).  Below I will share some of the pieces they were creating.  By the way, the glue most of us were using went on white, but dries clear.  So in most of these images, the space between beads looks white.  The glue is mostly dry in the photos of my piece.  Virginia recommended that, with more time, the backing be painted prior to doing the mosaid, to show the desired color between beads.  We didn't have time for that.  You will notice two pieces in the  photos below where you see the tan color of the board we were working on instead of white.  I believe these were glued with hot glue instead of the 'Power Grab' glue that the rest of us were using.

 I guess eyes, in one way or another, were a popular theme!
 These two pieces struck me for their selective color schemes, which were different from anyone else's work.  And I thought we all had black frames??!?  How did someone end up with white?
 Another image based on Starry Night, perhaps?
And finally (below), it looks like someone else actually didn't finish!  
Though look!  She decorated her frame with beads!
 Postscript:  I just realized why I didn't finish when so many others did.  They were gluing down whole strands of beads, which leaves gaps in places.  I was cutting the bead strands apart and gluing just one or two beads at a time, in an attempt to fill in any gaps.  Actually I was SHOVING them into the gaps...  Just sayin'!!


  1. This looks like such a fun workshop! Love the way they all turned out.

  2. This looks like such a fun workshop! Love the way they all turned out.