Thursday, 11 August 2016

My entry in Battle of the Beadsmith 2016

Battle of the Beadsmith (BOTB) is an every-year international competition in beadweaving which I joined for second time.

So how I took up the challenge? 

Beadweaving is a creative technique using various of stitches to sew together hundreds and thousands of seed beads. Together with bead embroidery it's my most used technique to create jewelry.

This competition is quite unique - there's no winning price and you "fight" in random chosed duels - only one design can pass to next round. Every year more than 200 artists join this battle run by company The Beadsmith. This year is a little bit chaotic and bringing a lot of changes, but the main rules aren't different - you have time from 1st April til 8th June to design, make, photoshoot your wearable beadwork (including techniques like soutache or kumihimo) and sell best four photos to organizators. The competition runs on Facebook group and you can influence the results by voting. Votes of artists and juries have more weigh than the public ones.

My battle piece was also my graduation work (I hadn't had a time to make two big works that days), so I had even less time for realization - I started 12th April and had to finish till 9th May with all documentary and drawings.
I studied Fashion Design with textile handicrafts - the exam was to create and sew a dress including some techniques based on a theme/concept.

My biggest insiration is world of music - my first entry in BOTB in 2015 was a necklace inspired by Luca Turilli's album Prophet of the Last Eclipse. Even now was not different - I chose one of my favourite musicians - Amalie Bruun. An article about this tallented lady and her music project Myrkur you can read here.

In my work called

Black Metal: Footsteps of Fragility on the Field of Extreme Underground 

I tried to express a woman in black metal subculture as a delicate and ethereal, but also traditional. My idea was to make a total outfit mixing appearance as a fairy with traditional black metal elements (including in-this-river-popular Nordic mythology).

To connect these seemingly contradictory properties, I used 100% silk in light grey for asymetrical fairy dress and black leather to make a big body jewel including bead embroidery inspired by Midgardsormr the Snake and spikes made of steel and pyramids as typical heavy metal atributes. I also made traditional black metal accesory - leather wristcuffs with 80 pieces of spikes.

The jewel is formed of six segments inovativly sewn together.

Materials: Czech and Japanese seed beads in 3 sizes, fire polished Czech glass beads, spikes made of steel, leather, nymo, s-lon and Fireline, 100% silk, stainless steel components

Size: Jewel: circumference around the neck: about 53 cm, around the waist 62-67 cm (variable)
Dress: S
Time to complete: Body jewel - 93 hours, dress cca 8-10 hours, wristbands 4 hours

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to round two, I was beaten in the duel with Catherine King from USA. But it doesn't matter, I made my biggest conceptual work ever. The competition is mostly about the jewelry and a lot of people simply don't read descriptions, so a lot of them may not noticed I also made the dress... But as a graduation work, my design was really succesful by the art commision and other students.

I post these photos on my Instagram profile tagging Myrkur on it and guess what - she noticed that and complimented me - she likes it! I was so pleased... I hope I could give her the whole costume one day.  

Back with stainless steel beaded chain; variability 

The photoshoot was crazy - everything was going wrong, so it seems the dress are pink. No, they really aren't. If I had enough time, I would do it once again anywhere else especially not in the school atelier by New Media students. Good lesson - do not interface school with competition.

But there was also funny moments while photoshooting - I wished so I could let those wristcuffs for myself...

What do you think about my design? Have I captured my idea right way? 

You can watch the whole competition here (link).

Carpe diem

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