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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