Triffid – beaded sculpture

Took me a while to absorb what the email was telling me but eventually it dawned – my entry into Bead Dreams 2018 had been juried into the competition. Holy Cow!

You can imagine the butterflies in my stomach while trying to get the critter safely boxed up and ready for mailing.

Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke

The whole piece was put together in sections. The flower and stem, the venomous stinger, the 3 claws at the base of the stem, the body, and the ground base. Some of the work was planned, and some I just prayed.

Here is the statement which accompanied the piece:

IS IT REAL? OR IS IT SCIENCE FICTION?

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

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’ve not done bead embroidery before so this was a good excuse to see what all the Sherri Serafini type fuss was about. I enjoyed finding special beads and rummaging through my seed bead stash for interesting colours. The design came easily as it is curved sections and each one got filled in as I went along.

Bead embroidered base of Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Bead embroidered base of Triffid.

These vintage chartreuse wire balls were sooooo perfect. They look like tumble weeds. I found them, along with the looooong bugle beads, in Bead Bullies, a terrific bead shop in Tigard, Oregon. Wish I drove, I would be there all the time. Such a great shop.

Close up of Triffid base. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Close up of Triffid base.

I found all sorts of ways to use Czech glass beads, tilas, lentils, spikes. All a challenge and amazing colours. And finally I found a way to use the dragonfly button.

Closeup of Triffid base. Beaded sculpture by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Closeup of Triffid base.

I managed to squeeze in ammonites, more bugle beads, and a funny little nest of interesting round beads. The basket weave worked out pretty well.

Triffid flower, stem and venomous stinger.  Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Triffid flower, stem and venomous stinger.

The whole thing is made around a coat hanger, styrofoam ball, and cardboard! The stitching for the stinger is herringbone, and the flower and stem are peyote stitch. I tried to grade the colours on both the stem and flower to give some dimension.

Still taken from Facebook video taken at Bead and Button show 2018 Bead Dreams showcases.
Still taken from Facebook video taken at Bead and Button show 2018 Bead Dreams showcases.

All in all, I’m very happy with this piece, and even happier it was selected for Bead Dreams 2018. This is a still from the Facebook video.