Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fashion Colorworks contest @

I never have time to enter any competitions, but I've just found out that Zoya and George Gutin have changed the deadline for their Fashion Colorworks contest. The time for submissions is between the 1st of April and 15th of June! Which would theoretically mean that I can manage to make something. Guess, it will be colorcombo 1: something embroidered; 2: something entirely beadwoven and 3 - crazy freeform. No promises to fullfill any of these ideas, but I will give it a try.

Otherwise I am probably going to keep a relatively low profile under the coming month or two - writing grant applications at work, it takes all my mental energy. There is also a blogging challenge from Artbeads that I've just barely started. And EBW spring swap... Hope I'll survive in one piece ;)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Malachite and March EBW challenge

Malachite is one of my most favorite gems. I found out about its existance when I was five, when my grandma and grandpa were reading Pavel Bazhov's Fairy Tales to me.

Recently, I browsed e-bay in search for some malachite beads... PEOPLE, I wanted to SCREAM!!! Most of those "genuine natural malachite","rare beauty", "we guarantee that our stones are 100% natural", "limited quantity available" etc, etc, etc - ARE MAN-CREATED! Assembled, pressed and stabilized from malachite dust in the very best case, and glossy plastic multi-colored monsters in the very worst. By understandable reasons, I will not paste any pictures here. But I can barely hold myself... Very, very upsetting indeed.

Wanna see a real malachite? Here it comes:

I used this lovely cab in my latest piece, made for the EBW March Challenge, "Fairy Tale".

It is called Хозяйка Медной Горы, or Lady Of The Copper Mine. To cut a long story short, the Lady was mighty but slightly arrogant, cold but extremely beautiful. She fell in love with a young miner and (among other things) asked him to make her a vase, shaped as a stone flower. The poor guy was a perfectionist and after several trials has delivered a stone flower that was as good as alive. There are lots of gems, copper and malachite in that fairy tale!

The shape of the pendant is a crescent, and this is my interpretation of a traditional female protective amulet that was common in Russia (and not only!).

Actually, I was amazed to find out that Swedish miners also have stories about Lady of The Mine. And their stories are quite similar to what I heard as a child. How very interesting...

Oah well, you know what you will have to do somewhere between the 9th and 15th of March: go to our blog and vote for your favorites! Otherwise, you can always search for the "ebwc" tag on Etsy!

Be well! :)
And please, if somebody is trying to tell you that there is such a thing as "red", "purple", "multicolor" or "rainbow" malachite - please do not believe those people... Or at least do not pay more than a buck or two...