If you’re anything like me, my ideas tend to spiral out of control into large and grand visions incredibly quickly.
What began as a lovely afternoon idly stitching a single fish, while meeting the ladies at my local West Country Embroidery club, has grown into a huge lockdown (and beyond) project.
After the initial downhill dip in creativity I talked about in my last post, I had a brainwave about growing the finished beaded fish into a huge piece of artwork. Clapping for the NHS every week had inspired me - I loved hearing about all of the things that were suddenly happening in the community. People were talking to each other; being kind to each other, it was wonderful to witness.
As I was spending lockdown in Cornwall, it made me start to think about another classic example of people risking their lives to save their community - the story behind Stargazy Pie.
Originating from Mousehole, Stargazy Pie is a traditional Cornish dish. Pilchards stick out of the pie crust appearing to stare at the sky and therefore, the stars. Traditionally served on 23rd December it celebrates Tom Bawcock, a fisherman in the 16th century who saved his village from starvation by bravely going to sea in a storm and catching enough fish to feed them all. The story goes that the entire catch was then baked in one giant pie and the village was saved.
After remembering the story, I immediately sketched out this circular design and began painstakingly beading from there.
It has taken not days, but weeks now of meticulously hand-beading everything. I’ve used thousands of beads and countless metres of thread similar to fishing line, to sew it all together.
I am starting to reach the stage where I can look at ordering the frame (circular frames are hard to find!) but this piece will be approximately 90cm in diameter. It’s going to be a real show stopper, especially for someone who is a complete magpie like me!
Here are some examples of the finished beaded elements.
Now the finish is in sight, I’ve had a second burst of energy to work on the project. Acorns turn into oak trees and it’s definitely been one of those projects.
Stay tuned for more updates and the big reveal soon!