BATTLE OF THE BEADSMITH 2022
3D Beadwoven Bouquet by Jarrod Vandenberg
“Something Blue” meant the world to me. It was a push in my skills and abilities learned over 15+ years beadweaving. I used every stitch I’ve ever learned in various ways to try and showcase my knowledge and create something I’ve never seen before.
Initially, I began with the idea of making a corset completely out of glass. But after the political status of the United States in 2022, the last message I wanted to send to the world representing the United States was that of a throwback to 1800’s or early 1900’s. I then moved to the idea of a classic black Witches Hat; If they’re going to burn you at the stake again for speaking your mind, you might as well look amazing while they do. I began and quickly realized I wouldn’t have finished by the deadline of October 19th, 2022 if I continued. I was at a loss and didn’t know where to go from here.
Which then gave me an idea. I’ve personally woven many glass flowers, but always in jewelry. I’d never seen them as actual stand-alone glass flowers that would mimic real flora, but with glass, crystals and gemstones. The natural place I think of everlasting flowers would be at a wedding, which gave me the idea for “Something Blue”.
I immediately hit the ground running. I sourced local Michigan wood for the cores to give greater stability to the stems and began weaving. I knew I could faithfully recreate flowers to exactly mimic their real counterparts, but, why? I’m using glass and I have a chance to bring the impossible to life. Hence, I picked a Blue Rose as the focal flowers, an impossible flower that doesn’t exist. I pulled inspiration from Hyacinth, Iris, Tulip, Fern, Bamboo, Apple Leaves, Orchids and Jasmine, but with a fantastical spin.
This was truly a labor of love in every regard. The intention was to have someone, female or male, carry this bouquet in their wedding and be able to keep the flowers forever. With Swarovski Crystals, Dichroic Seed Beads and thousands upon thousands of glass seed beads, this bouquet is stunning in person. On the deadline, it went on Display to view live at Sault Realism Gallery, a local gallery in Sault Ste. Marie, MI for people to see live in the area. After the competition, regardless of the results, the entire bouquet will go on sale via this site for the chance to be owned into a private collection.
Stats For "Something Blue"
Artist Name: Jarrod Vandenberg, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States of America
Artist Introduction: I’ve been beading for well over ten years. I first fell in love with beading when I seen Marcia DeCoster’s book “Beaded Opulence” and have been beading ever since. I work as an artist and graphic designer currently. I was born and raised in Colorado, I moved in 2017 to the state of Michigan and my Mother’s hometown of Sault Ste. Marie and continued my beadwork journey. I’m also an avid boxer, martial artist and swordsman.
Name of your piece: Something Blue
Name of stitch, stitches used: Peyote, MRAW, RAW, Russian Leaf, Herringbone (Ndebele), Modified Ndebele, 2-Drop Peyote, Chenille, Picot, Brick
Name of products used, size and material: Miyuki Delica .11mm, Miyuki Delica .15mm, Miyuki Duracoat Delica .11mm, Hex-Cut Miyuki Delica, TOHO .11mm, TOHO .15mm, Czech Fire Polished Crystals 2mm and 4mm, Swarovski Crystals, Local Michigan Wood for Stem Cores, Monofilament
Overall size of piece: Approximately 12″ tall at highest.
Time to complete: 2 months, 10-30 hours per flora, 11 individual flora in the entire bouquet. Approximately 220+ hours total.
Intention of use: This piece is intended for a wedding day to be held as an everlasting bouquet and something truly unique, hence the “Something Blue” title. An individual flower(s) can be taken from the bouquet and worn in hair as an adornment as well.
Thank you for your time viewing my entry.
My Jewelry Shop, Website and Blog: Shattered Elegance Jewelry
- Jarrod Vandenberg