Saturday, September 14, 2019

Bee: The Gift Part Two

Hello my Dearest Readers,
As I mentioned in last week's post I always start with the symbolism and inspiration from the actual creature! 
I thought this below bee image was just perfect. It shows each part of a bee's body so clearly!

If you missed last weeks post find it here BEE: THE GIFT  Part One



Not sure how it happened...over the years of working and creating, silk has become my go to fabric. Not from a definitive choosing but from a this fabric will do what I need it to do to create my project in it's fullest.
It is strong yet delicate. Brilliant in color and can be dyed or distresses to show age.
In can be very shear to heavy. 
Different weaves give it different shininess...and it dyes heavenly.

I love using a linen-weave silk for my bodies. It has a slight nubby texture as linen would have and a beautiful mat finish.

Costumes vary all over place depending on what the fabric needs represent to how it will hold it's shape.

The Bee and how the fabrics relate to it

As I studied the Bee abdomen, which would be the skirt. I noticed a bit of a shine to it.
SOooo...when I came across this silk...I knew it was a definite meant to "BEE"...

Coming back to my studio, I went through my other fabrics and chose these as companions and adding in the right fuzziness for the torso area!

I had been "saving" the Chinese silk brocade with the print for that special project... but really what was I waiting for? when was I going to use it!?
I purchased it for dolls and how can I share it with others if it sits in my box of "warm colored silks"??
Now was the time...

Next, I wanted to mimic the segments of the bee's abdomen area.
And bringing in some design concepts, the skirt/abdomen was to be shorter in front to see her legs and longer in back so the viewer can see that gorgeous Chinese brocade. If I using it, I might as well show it off!

I stabilized her skirt is to hold it's shape and added darts in the lower back segment to create a roundness., as a bee abdomen curves inward.
Below- the skirt is tried on to see that it is fitting and flowing to my concept.

After the skirt was placed on her and all fit according to plan, I hand-sewed the back together.

She needed a fuzziness around her upper torso. I appliqued the dyed fur to her upper area.
Side note: I used alcohol inks to dye the fur for a more (uncontrolled) organic feel.

I had one strip left...and it had to be for her hair.
As I placed it on her head, it so rocked as a Mohawk! And with those eyes, of course, that is what she would be sporting!

I wanted her to be retreating from a flower with her "gift of pollen".

I cut and tore many colors of strips of the bright magenta silk family to create her skirt border flower. I added in frayed silk between the skirt and the flower to represent the yellow stamen of a dahlia flower.
AND it played off the Chinese lining!
Image result for magenta flower dahlia

Of course...bee in what they are...bringing together community, still have stingers...
So nestled within her flower petals is...

So here she waits for her finally, take flight to bring back her gift to share with her community!
Funny... at this point she has a bit of a forlorn look in her eyes...not to worry as she is completed-that will change to more of an all knowing.

And that my dearest ones, is the beauty and magic of art...the beauty of letting it emerge as it wants to be and having it's own voice...not controlled.


Next Week
She takes FLIGHT!

Bee: The Gift  
Price upon request.

Wall mounted piece 34 inches from Mohawk to Flower tip.
Clay sculpted Head overlaid with linen weave silk.
Body in Linen weave silk.
All hand-dyed with alcohol inks.
Costume- All Silk.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bee: The Gift Part One

The beginning!
Hello my faithful readers. Thank you for sticking with me, even during my own transformation and the need to cocoon, reemerge, take flight, and now return with the "gifts" of my own personal journey.

These insects pieces are how I tell my story.
Are you familiar with the Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell?
It is an incredible study and discovery of how we transform.

If you want to explore this a bit more, here is an 11 minute video that does a nice analysis of it.

The Cicada: The Emergence, in a sense, at the beginning THE CALL and Bee: The Gift...THE RETURN home with her treasure to share with her community.

Art is an interesting process. I find inspiration comes when you are not looking for it. Who knows if there will be others that are the actual journey! I have a feeling there will be!


"The Bee is the symbol of the soul.  
She is the embodiment of industry, activity, zeal, order and community.
They are traditionally revered as divine messengers, foretellers of the future and wise guardians of the secrets of nature. They can neither endure irreverence or profanity nor remain where there is anger or hatred.
Bees love purity and happiness."
information gathered from many sources 
I always start with the symbolism and the actual creature! I thought this image was just perfect.


Understanding the Bee's body is first and foremost.

Image result for parts of a bee

Then fabric selection...

Of course, I found this exquisite striped silk that resembled the bees body!
The orangey-yellow silk dupioni and the Chinese silk brocade as well as the rabbit fur where in my stash.
Back story on the Chinese brocade. I was fortunate to go to China and choose this fabric myself! Like any good artist, I have nurtured and coveted this fabric. wink wink.

Stripe- as body/abdomen
Chinese brocade- as liner
Rabbit fur- as bodice and hat/headdress/ thorax and head

At present, I have decided to start using these cherished fabrics and pieces because that is why I purchased them in the first place.
AND!!! The most wonderful thing about being able to actually be at the Chinese silk factory, is knowing the quality of the silk you are purchasing. It is gorgeous!


I sculpted her head in clay, covered it with the silk, sewed her body, armatured toes and hands, and stuffed her to a firm feel.

Next was dying her body with alcohol inks. I love this process because it is very organic...and it comes it comes out!

Next ,having heart is important to life and in my pieces.
I dyed a general shape of red and then embroidered an open heart with hand-dyed linen thread.
The underlying gold X is memory of my Dad which is on all my pieces.

Hand-painted her eyes and shadowed her eyes. Eyebrows are embroidered.
Final step is to form and stitch her body into the shape I fell represents her the best.


I wanted to use the stripes and show them in their fullest.
Since the Bee's body is segmented, so was her skirt to be.
Below is the pattern I designed being shorter in the front and longer in the back.
I want the back to "cup" a bit so added darts.
Each curve needed to fit together like a puzzle.

So, I sew and let the Bee unfold to be the spirit that she is meant to be...bee.

Next week. Costuming!

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