I discovered kumihimo (the ancient Japanese art of braiding) a couple years ago when I wanted to learn to make beaded rope necklaces. Since then, I've almost become addicted to the craft. It's soothing, and since there's an unlimited number of possible designs, I've always got a project ready to go.
Here's a happy combination of two of my favorite things: horses and crystals. Stella McCartney, daughter of former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, designed this fantastic "sculpture" for installation at Belsay Castle in Northumberland, U.K.
Named "Lucky Spot," it consists of thousands of Swarovski crystals hanging from precisely aligned threads to create a chandelier image of a fantastic horse.
Lucky Spot is a tribute to Stella's late mother, Linda, who loved horses, as well as a modern response to the famous painting Whistlejacket, by 18th Century artist George Stubbs.
How very appropriate, given that Whistlejacket was foaled at Belsay Castle.
Whistlejacket, painted in about 1762 by George Stubbs.
Connie Cooper of Plantersville, Texas, has played with beads off and on for her entire life. She moved through micro-macrame into lampworking. Connie says she's "done a lot of things in my life and this is something I really enjoy. I’ve found that trying to “make a living” doing a job I hate doesn’t make for living at all, so I’ve created a life for myself based on bringing the beauty of [the] Universe to you in my little glass and fiber creations." Take a peek:
This fantastic piece is on Connie's blog, on the "micro-macrame" page.
This steampunk-inspired lampwork bead is available on Connie's Etsy shop.
Here Connie combines her lampwork with natural stones and an African porcupine quill. I'm happy NOT to meet that porcupine!
Kris Hunt of Lisian Blue has been featured here before. Let me show you a bit more of this multi-talented artist's work. Here are two handpainted bottles:
Here's the stitching detail from a hat she's making for her granddaughter.
Kris also makes quilts. Her grandson thought it was sort of funny to cut material up into little squares, just to sew them all back together to make a blanket. Well, Kris admits, it is a little funny if you think about it. Read Kris' blog and check out her Artfire store.
Carmen Trueheart of St. Augustine, Florida came to precious metal clay via hippy beads, seed beads, and gemstone beads.
Precious metal clay (PMC) frees Carmen's creativity, as you can see in this pendant.
Bracelets are another favorite of Carmen's, and this is one of my favorites, too.
Carmen loves animals and donates 20% of her sales to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. Check her blog, and visit her stores on Artfire, HAF, and Etsy.