The Beaded Sculptures of Natasha St. Michael
Meet Bead Artist Natasha St. Michael
Michelle: What have you been working on since the Fiberarts profile in 2004?
Natasha: In 2005, I left Montreal to go traveling, only to return the summer of 2007! I was away for nearly two years, spending most of the time in Australia. I also traveled a few months to Indonesia, Japan, and Hong Kong.
All of my work basically consists of a three-dimensional form that is multiplied over again hundreds of times and then interwoven into a sculptural formation. Earlier works were made up of hundreds of multiplied forms that were always consistent in shape, color, and size. Slowly I was trying to make the transition of changing these multiplied forms within the piece to make it appear as if it is continuing to grow, transform, or even decay, but it always was very subtle, until very recently. My approach to the overall assembly of the pieces has changed as well. I've been using it as a means to further emphasis an appearance that it is still continuing to exist, grow, or spread.
Michelle: Tell me about "Transitional." How long did it take?
Natasha: "Transitional" took three months to complete. I actually find doing tubular beadweaving to be the most laborious and quite painstaking. One tube can take over two hours to complete!
Michelle: Why did you choose to name it that?
Natasha: It is titled "Transitional" because it has a living, specimen quality, representing a mid-phase, as if still alive, but not sure if it's going to continue growing upward, multiply outward, or just shrivel back up. "Transitional" is the first piece I completed upon my return to Canada.
Special Beading Daily Bonus! Natasha finished a new piece ("Thriving") this week and we are among the first to see it!
Natasha St. Michael will be exhibiting at SOFA Chicago 2007 (booth #226), November 1-4, 2007. See more examples of her work at: www.natashastmichael.com. You can also read the original profile of Natasha that first appeared in Fiberarts.
Halloween Zipper Pull: A Last-Minute Beading Project
It always snows in Colorado on Halloween. You can't see any costumes as the kids trick-or-treat around the neighborhood, just winter coats, hats, scarves. That is, when the weather is nice enough that their parents let them outside at all!
One quick way to add some Halloween fun to your jacket is to create a beaded zipper pull. I used a ceramic pumpkin bead from Earthenwood Studio, but the sky (and maybe your wallet) is the limit! Think sparkly crystals for The Princess, maybe a futuristic dichroic bead for The Robot. Just string beads on a head pin and use a wrapped loop to attach the beads to a lobster clasp. Or even easier–use a split ring to attach a charm to the clasp. I've also seen variations that use the cell phone lanyards or cords as zipper pulls.
If you don't celebrate Halloween, this is an easy project to modify with the beads of your choice. And for those of you lucky enough to live in tropical places that don't require anything warmer than a T-shirt, consider adding some sparkle to your purse, shoes, or anything else with a zipper.
Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She is not giving out beads to trick-or-treaters tonight, but believe me, she thought about it!