Saturday, February 13, 2010

Inspiration from the Ancients

Last night, Maggie Meister (far right in photo, check out that fabulous necklace!) gave a talk to about fifteen members of the Toronto Bead Society at Bead Junction. She is in town to teach classes for three days there this weekend and had been scheduled to give this talk at the TBS meeting Wednesday night but couldn't get a flight out of the snow zone in the States until late Thursday. I'm sure all of us there last night would agree, it was worth the wait for her talk.

The title of her presentation was, "Ancient Voices - Beadwork Inspired By Antiquity". Maggie spent five years living in Naples, Italy, which she describes as a filthy dirty city, "like someone moved the Bronx to San Diego" (because of the palm trees). It is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe, even older than Rome, as evidenced by the remains of the Greeks who first settled there. However, she found the artwork there to be incredibly inspiring.

She showed us several slides of pieces found in the National Museum in Naples, many of which have inspired her beadwork - objects such as jewellery, mosaic floors, paintings, statues all served to tweak her imagination and made her wonder how to translate what she saw into works of art with beads. Words can't begin to describe the result - you can see some of the finished designs here, in her gallery:

Maggie also had some great words of inspiration for seed beaders:

1 - interpret your passion

2 - have a working knowledge of 5 stitches (peyote, square, brick, herringbone and right angle weave) in all their forms (circular, flat,

3 - combine stitches

4 - do not be married to one stitch

5 - know when to let go of the point of inspiration.

Sounds like good advice to me. Makes me want to get busy beading!

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