Is February your favourite month of the year? The month of Love and Family, not to mention the shortest month. I think February is my favourite month and closer to Spring too. Just a few days left to finish your Valentines gifts then a week to plan your Family Day activities. Wishing everyone a month filled with love and safe family activities during this time of Covid.
I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about Pam Kearns creative journey at our next GRBS meeting on Tuesday, February 22nd. If you’re not a member, hop over to the Membership page at GRBS.ca and join us.
Take care everyone and be safe.
Welcome to new and returning members:
Future Virtual Meetings
Tuesday, February 22, 2022: Pam Kearns: Her Creative Journey
Please note: this is a Tuesday as Monday is Family Day
Monday, March 21, 2022: Meredith Filshie: Bead Embroidery
Monday, April 18, 2022: Barbara Bryce: Working with Stained Glass and Found Objects
Monday, May 16: TBA
Monday, June 20: AGM
Pam Kearns Presentation
Tuesday, February 22
Pamela Kearns has been on a beading journey for the last 20 years. Along the way she learned many seed beading techniques, weaving, felting and knitting and some with beads, some without. Join Pam to see her beading journey and some of the items she has created along the way.
Floored by Floor Kaspers amazing work.
Hopefully I am not alone in my adoration of Floor Kaspers work. We were so fortunate to have her present all the way from the Netherlands to Grand River Bead Society and Toronto Bead Society in a shared virtual meeting on Sunday January 16.
Floor is a well-known awarding winning bead artist. She has an extensive knowledge of the history of beads, creates lamp work beads and dabbles in ceramics. In the future she wants to include all mediums in her pieces. Her beadwork sculptures are already diverse, colourful and challenging. At the beginning of her presentation Floor shared a recently created pottery tea pot that she was clearly pleased with. Her foray into the beading world innocently began with her study of the history of beads, Floor remarked that creating beadwork was a natural progression of sorts.
I noticed quickly that her engaging presentation style makes you feel like it’s a living room conversation amongst friends. She spoke about her early and current beadwork and the anecdotes that inspired them. Floors describes her work as being based on the exploration of shapes she hasn’t seen before which is then paired with a serious addiction to colour. Personally I don’t think you can work with beads and not be a colour junkie.
Floor is quite accomplished for someone who has been beading for only a decade. She works in geometric beadwork and has a curious obsession with netting, relishing in how easy it is to create. Floor also commented on how relaxing it is to create beaded netting. Netting was one of the major shifts in Floors evolving explorations in working with seed beads. For sculptural works she studies shaped patterns to create unique dimensional pieces that can be worn. Colour also plays a pivotal role in her beaded art and for the record analogous colours are Floors preference. She often uses colour in graduating tones of similar shades. One such image of Indian squash that come in a variety of orange, yellow and greens, became the bead colours Floor used for a sculptural neckpiece. The effect is dramatic and I was quite captivated by her use of colour. Floor observed during her beading process on how the finish of the bead can also contribute to how a piece looks. Matte beads versus shiny beads are examined, and how they work together in a piece. With Floors larger beadwork she also has to consider the strength of her thread, and has to decide if the thread can support the scale of the beadwork. It can be too easy to overlook the mechanics involved in creating larger scale work.
Floor very casually pointed out that she has the entire collection of Miyuki seed beads, a point of envy for most. The Japanese seed beads are her beads of choice and this is a common brand for people who create geometric work, or any technique that requires precision. When Floor travels for her day job she has a travelling beaded kit that goes everywhere with her. Her day job is stressful and she uses beading as a form of relaxation and to unwind from a busy work day. I was amazed how Floor manages to have a full time job and create the incredible pieces she does. I also noted how she only works on one project at a time and typically finishes it, this is in contrast to my bins of unfinished projects and beading failures.
Like many of us Floor also uses her beaded art to reflect her feelings, she created a piece based on the effect of Covid in the Netherlands which she refers to as her “sad” piece. Our work should always be related to our life experiences and covid has certainly been something that is hard to ignore. Some of her geometric works are almost treated like objects of entertainment. One piece of beadwork was just the right size to hold eggs. It was truly remarkable in its colourful presentation and functionality. Never thought of a beaded egg carton before. It’s objects like this that are big, bold and vibrant that make her work truly intriguing. Floor was kind enough to reveal her supplies of choice, noting that she uses Miyuki seed beads almost exclusively, along with 6 lb fire line and John James beading needles.
Hopefully if you missed Floors live presentation you were able to watch one of two encore zoom presentations. I really enjoyed seeing her work and listening to her stories, which to me is often why we create artful objects in the first place. Can’t wait to see what amazing pieces she will be doing next.
*Floor publishes her projects in progress on her facebook page.
Submitted by Naomi Smith
Sun, Moon and stars
Tips and Techniques
Glue Can be a Sticky Problem
There are a variety of glues on the market and yet there is no clear statement that helps us to distinguish amongst them.
The best advice is to read the package and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as they spend a lot of time and money to develop their products. They want to make customers happy and to minimize problems.
Here are some suggestions for successful gluing:
1. Work in a well ventilated area with no flames.
2. For glues that are labeled “instant bonding” consider wearing plastic gloves. They are your best defence against having your skin being bonded to something.
3. Protect your surface with plastic, foil or waxed paper. Regular paper is too porous.
4.Try to test the glue first on some scrap material to check the bonding properties.
5. Most glue packages will tell you to make certain that the surfaces to be glued should be clean, dry and free from dust and oil. Sometimes you may be advised to roughen surfaces with a bit of sand paper as this helps to improve bonding.
6. Don’t apply too much glue as you may end up with oozing problems which might be difficult to clean up effectively, or the two items may slip out of position. Less is more in this case.
7. Clean up excess glue before it dries. It helps to have paper towels or moist towels on hand before you start gluing.
8. Try to support the glued pieces so that gravity doesn’t take over!
9. Remember to give the glue adequate time to dry. Even instant bonding glues need time to cure – sometimes up to 72 hours.
10. Date the glue package. Glues have a shelf life and old glue will not bond well.
11. To maximize shelf life, store away from extreme heat, cold and sunlight.
If you are “glued” to this this article, and “stick” with it, next month we will have some information on the two most popular glues on the market for beaders.
Article edited from Canada Beading Supply – a beading company in Ottawa Ontario.
If you want to touch
touch a rock.
If you want to touch
touch a flower.