Second Place, Art Bead Awards
My set of faux cloisonne beads, Conchita, the Beauty of California, took the second place in polymer Clay Beads Category, Art bead Awards 2008. Works of all winners will be featured in November/December issue of issue of Step by Step Beads and on the Step by Step Beads website.
I love using my faux cloisonne beads as little canvas for wearable art. This set of beads was inspired by an unbelievable story of love between a Russian explorer, Nicholay Rezanov, and a daughter of the San-Francisco Governor, Maria de la Concepcion Marcella Arguello (Conchita, as she was called in the family), at the beginning of 19-th century. Coming from the opposite ends of the globe and from such different cultures, they found each other and fell in love. Being a Russian noble, Rezanov could not marry without the Russian Emperor's permission, for which he had to travel back to St.-Petersburg. Conchita promised to wait for him. She did not know that on his way through Siberia Rezanov fell terribly ill and died. Only many years later did she learned of his fate, but refused to believe it. She received many proposals from many admirers, but turned all of them down. Conchita had been waiting for Rezanov for three decades... When the news of his death were finally confirmed, she devoted herself to charity and teaching Indians.
This bead set is done using my faux cloisonne technique, with all details formed out of pieces of wire. The red swirl details were formed with wire as well; the wire was removed after baking the beads and the obtained impressions were back-filled with red polymer clay. This clay contained some glitter, hence the sparks you can see in the picture. After applying two layers of the resin, the beads were adorned with siam flat-back Swarovski crystals.