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Entries in beads (2)

Wednesday
May292013

how it's made: ariel beads artwork

Artist Ariel Erestingcol’s process of reconstructing an image is rendered through the meticulous placement of colorful beads. While some beads arrive separated by color, mixed bags have to be separated by hand, further intensifying the process. Every so often his dog will get excited and knock over a bucket of beads so he’s grateful his nephews sometimes sort them on weekends—but Ariel says he still finds them all over the studio.

Once the beads are organized, an image is pixelated and then transferred to a mosaic filter, which creates a map for the placement of the colored beads—including some “glow in the dark” beads which were used for their color but technically they should emit a faint glow in the right circumstances.

These depictions of New York—in ariel times square taxi beads and ariel times square beads—are made up of over 5000 beads—each making one pixel of the digitized image and representing one unit of understanding. Through this process, the piece is given incremental meaning and its fractured nature attempts to create meaning of everyday events.

When the image is complete, it’s pressed with heat so the beads fuse together and mounted onto an MDF panel—the corners of which are routed to mimic the curved edges of the beads—and a hanging mechanism is added to the back which also creates a shadow lift and further adding dimension.

These numbered pieces are truly limited since they cannot be remade in the same colors—some are now discontinued—and requiring hours and hours of focus and intent, these limited-edition prints have a release of 75 each.

Friday
Oct262012

how it's made: beaded bracelets

Bawa La Tumaini in Kenya, which translates to ‘Wing of Hope’ in English, is a Fair-Trade company which finances the purchase of raw materials, pays creative women and men fair wages to produce products such as baskets and jewelry, and provides links to global markets to sell their handicrafts.

Produced by a group of 15 women and men, in one of the Nairobi’s informal settlements, they specialize in making handicrafts based on Maasai bead jewellry—necklaces, wrist bands, friendship bands, and anklets.

Their main market has been through local sales in Nairobi but unfortunately, they have not been sustainable—in this African setting the nuclear family supports the extended family.

Different age groups wear different styles, designs and colors of beaded pieces—but women decide the styles to create. This limited quantity purchase will translate into colorful gifts that give on in the way of access to healthcare facilities, food and clean drinking water.