Wednesday 10 July 2013

The Brit Pack Beaders are back!

The Brit Pack Beaders are back! We originally meant to set ourselves a challenge earlier in the year but eventually decided on a summer challenge as we were all busy with little things like building a new studio (Lesley), visiting the States (Rebecca) - so here we are!

It was Teresa's turn to choice the picture for our inspiration this time round and she chose Rossetti's 'Mariana', saying that she fell in love with the painting after seeing it at Aberdeen Art Gallery many years ago, and being fascinated by the richness, colour and texture of the dress.

I did a bit of research and Teresa gave us a little history on the painting too, so if you are sitting comfortable here is your evening (or morning/afternoon, depending on the time in your part of the world) art history lesson...

Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 'Mariana' was originally meant to have been a simple figurative portrait of Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris. However, at the request of his patron William Graham, Rossetti added a page-boy (William Graham's son Willie) as well as other symbols and motifs to turn the composition into a subject picture. The subject was Shakepeare's 'Measure for Measure,' with Jane Morris playing the role of Mariana. The character of Mariana is somewhat tragic. She is betrothed to Angelo, though he nullifies this engagement when Frederick, Mariana's brother, is lost at sea along with his sister's dowry. A delightful man! He does get brought down a peg or too at the end though.

But now onto the important business - the beads! This is what we have to play with this time round. At the time of writing this I don't actually know whether we were all sent the same, and I'll find out when I visit the other Brit Pack Beaders' blog later today.

Claire sent the focal, a beautiful polymer clay flower made by Pippa Chandler. There's a hole going across the back of the flower. Teresa sent the clasp - my favourite ingredient. Lesley made these gorgeous bronze clay components - the sweet heart and the leaf connector are my favourites of these. Rebecca sent the ribbon and cord, and my contribution was lampwork and Czech faceted glass beads.

I have to say that I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to make at the moment! I'm sure that inspiration will strike before our reveal on 30th July!

To see what the others think of the ingredients for our challenge and to find out if inspiration has struck them please visit their blogs/facebook pages!

Lesley Watt - Thea Jewellery -

Rebecca Anderson - Songbeads -

Claire Braunbarth - Smitten Beads -

Teresa Hulley - Bo Hulley Beads - Bo's Facebook page


  1. Good luck Jo - no idea what I'm doing but hopefully inspiration will strike soon.

  2. What a great idea and an inspired choice of beads - it will be interesting to see what you end up making!!!


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