Triffid – sculpture stitched with seed beads, crystals, Czech glass beads, a ceramic focal, ammonites, and selected beads. Peyote stitch beadweaving, and bead embroidery. A Bead Dreams 2018 finalist, First Prize and Best in Division ribbon winner at the 2018 Oregon State Fair, winner of Portland Bead Society annual challenge,
AND juried into Fierce & Frail II: of Beings, Beasts, and Seed at Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR during April and May 2019.
This sculpture was created for a challenge and was so well received I secretly applied for Bead Dreams 2018, not remotely thinking it would be juried in. To my astonishment it was accepted so with much nervous pulling and tucking I packed it up and mailed it off to Milwaukee, WI. (I love the serendipity of living in a place named Milwaukie with an IE, and addressing the package to Milwaukee with an EE).
My challenge statement explains a Triffid:
IS IT REAL? OR IS IT SCIENCE FICTION?
The Day of the Triffids, written by John Wyndham in 1951 was one of the first science fiction books I read and decades later the story still haunts me.
You awake one night to watch a dramatic green meteor shower in the sky, and the next morning you’ve gone blind. Sooooo not cool.
And to top it all, suddenly 7 foot tall, man-eating, walking plants are striding around your streets. Holy Cow! One strike from the venomous stinger and you’re a goner.
Strictly speaking, a Triffid is probably a bio-engineered, carnivorous critter and not an extra-terrestrial. But this is speculation. It’s never made clear in the book where the original Triffids came from, or the green meteor shower.
Whatever the truth (and it is ‘Out There’ – for X-Files fanatics), the Triffids are my favourite possible ET’s.
I found these brilliant lime green vintage wire balls at a local bead shop. When I saw them I just loved them and knew I would find a way to use them. Somehow they reinforce the wild grassy, bumpy ground. A friend gifted me the ammonites and again, they feel like the earth beneath the scary crittur. All sorts of leaves and sticks hang off the back of the Triffid.
When I first saw an embroidered piece of beaded jewelry I loved the look but wasn’t at all interested in emulating the style. However, when the question arose of – ‘how do I give this Triffid a base?’ – it made sense to experiment. This is my first attempt at embroidery and honestly, I enjoyed every moment. Choosing which direction to go in next, how to place the colours and shapes, giving the whole base different textures – yeah, I get it now! In my stash there is a collection of glass buttons which suddenly became a good source for raiding and adding to the bead embroidery. We’ve all seen the dragonfly button done in a variety of colours, I just totally groove on how the colours worked in the beveled insect.
Am besotted with the little nest of beads, and the vintage chartreuse bugle beads line up like good little soldiers. Wasn’t sure about the basket weave look at first but it gives an interesting dimension to the section.
It’s amazing what you can do with a coat hanger, cardboard and a styrofoam ball! The venomous stinger is the give away – if you see an enormous rooty, flower walking around, RUN AWAY!
Here’s a still from the Facebook video taken at the display case at the Bead & Button show 2018.