This challenge is sponsored by The Beadin Path in Freeport, ME. My mask ws chosen for the poster, which I was very happy about. Check out the entire exhibition. The store sponsors a different challenge every year. This one has certainly been a challege for me as I've never designed a 3D image like this.
I didn't want the entire piece beaded and I wanted to include an enamel. This is what I came up with. See below for meanings...
Click here for a larger view of the mask.
Transformations, A Self Portrait
The mask is how you present yourself at this moment in time. But to get to this point, one goes through many transformations the least of which is growing from a baby to adolescence to adulthood. My concept of the mask has gone through many transformations, as has my life in the past few years.
I started with a theme of male and female. At first this was the “battle of the sexes”, but I decided that I didn’t want it to be combative so it transformed into “soul mates”. But I was having a hard time coming up with the male side of the image and the piece transformed into “We all have a female and male side”. I was starting to list female and male traits and the concept transformed into a “Self Portrait”. That was a good start so I went to buy some fabric to get going. I found a gorgeous netting that had loads of colors (I am a color person) and when I held it to my mask, it looked like a 60’s bandana. Well, NOW I was able to see my mask and I was really able to start working. Although I didn’t wear a bandana when I was in college, I certainly was/am a 60s girl.
In the last few years, I have been taking Kadampa Buddhist teachings. This, coupled with reading the book, “A New Earth” by Echardt Tolle, has transformed the way I view life. This is not to say I’m enlightened or have no need to make further changes, but I have changed and am continuing to transform. Below describes what is included in my Self-Portrait…
Symbolism in my mask:
Photo by Ralph Gabriner
- Bandana I’m a 60s girl
- I love:
- lots of color, especially purple and teal
- to enamel (the Cloisonné/Guilloche jewel, a 3rd eye)
- metalwork (disks behind the glass rondelles in the black headband of the bandana; these were roll printed with a pattern I had etched and then I made the domed disks)
- my favorite bead Czech #61016 it’s the fuchsia lined/aqua overlay in the fan stitch
- my favorite stitch the fan
- paisleys and beaded them in an abstract Yin Yang design on right side of the mask
- to teach and help others: to represent this I used beads I got from a charity - Beads For Life, African women making and selling beads to make a living
- butterflies which represent everlasting life
- The 3rd Eye: spoken of as the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness
- The 3 most important women in my life; all in the dangles from the Cloisonne bead on the right side of the mask:
- my mother (bead from one of her pieces of jewelry)
- my sister (pearls)
- my daughter (Turquoise, her birth stone, and purple, her favorite color)
- The most important man in my life: my husband (diodes because we both worked in computers and met at an old job)
- Opal my birthstone
- Honoring my friends: Carol Anne who taught me to make the silk painted material behind the Cloisonné; Claudia who gave me the carved bone beads
- The beads hanging from the knot in the bandana along with beads my new friend, Merle, and I bought together - these represent new friendships & women friends that are coming my way from all my transformations
- I receive teachings from the Kadampa Buddhist tradition, which is represented by a 6-pointed star
- Some felt is still showing on the right side of the face. I left it like that because I like the look, but also because it represents that my transformation is not complete.
- Stone meanings:
- Amethyst used to open the spiritual and psychic centers
- Apatite is an inspirational stone. It develops psychic abilities and spiritual attunement. Use it to aid communication and self-expression.
- Charoite is a soul stone with deep physical and emotional healing energies. It is a stone of transformation and is used to overcome fears.
- Garnet helps protect one on trips and bring constancy to friendships. I travel a few times a year so this one is good for me
- Lapis Lazuli When working or meditating with Lapis Lazuli, it can bring matters more clearly to the mind.
- Hematite for grounding
- Jade strengthens your mental faculties and assists in clear reasoning. I used a faceted candy jade (green & pink)
- Kyanite to balance body/mind/spirit - align the charkas. Also represents Peace
- Opal Enhances your ability to communicate what is in your heart
- Pearls used to help tap inner wisdom and to nurture the growth of love
- Rose Quartz for love and self-love