Thursday, October 2, 2014

Update on the Camino themed bead project

Hello, everyone.

Today I think I'll update y'all on the progress on the bead project.

I think I had posted a couple of early-stage pictures of it--which will reappear in this post.

I wanted to design a scallop shell bead project, a woven picture really, using peyote stitch. And I had the free beading-design graph paper from Fire Mountain to use. So I sat down and used my pencil to make a sketch. Actually, three sketches, but two have not been started. The one I tackled first is the scallop shell.

The scallop shell is possibly the oldest symbol of the Camino de Santiago (Jakobsweg in German) (Way of St. James in English, at least before everybody started just using the Spanish name.)
The medieval pilgrims would travel to Santiago, and sometimes also another week to the coast, and they'd pick up a scallop shell as a souvenir. They'd proudly display their shell on the return trip.

These days, pilgrims get their shell when they start out, and then after they arrive, they use more modern, more convenient transportation to go home again. A few walk the reverse trip--we saw them. I had a lot of trouble understanding why they'd do it. But they'd pass us, going the other way, with their backpacks, probably not even one percent of the number going west to Santiago.

I don't remember if they still display a shell as they go the reverse direction.

At any rate, I was inspired to make a peyote-stitch shell.

The early stages:
This was just the, um, tag at the top of the shell.

At this point I'd begun the shaping of the body of the shell. (In the background, you can see the arrow and the Cross of Santiago on the graph paper sheet as well.)

Now the shape and the shadows of the channels begin to show up.

At this point, the shell is done. You can see that the angles of the channels don't quite match the angle of the beads as they lie. But it is still a scallop shell.

I plan to fold over the top part to make a tube, and then make it the centerpiece of a necklace.

Maybe I'll expand the concept next time, after making a Cross of Santiago, and place the Cross of Santiago on the center of the shell. That was a common way to place the two items in souvenirs that we saw in Santiago. It's the way my pin is made, too.

I still don't know what I'll do with the arrow after I figure out how to make that. Possibly I could hang it from the base of the shell? Or maybe just have it be a separate piece altogether.

For the curious, the beads used in this are Delicas, from Japan. They have very regular sizes and a really nice, big center hole that the needle can go through again and again.