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The July Art Bead Scene challenge is to make something that is inspired by the Picasso painting below and uses an art bead.

ImagePortrait of Olga in the Armchair, 1917 by Pablo Picasso.  (This art is copyrighted and is to be used only as inspiration.)

In past challenges my inspiration was primarily the colors in the painting.  For this challenge, my inspiration is the feeling of a time when things were more formal and elegant.

ImageA while ago I bought this tin rectangle with slightly curved edges just because it seemed cool, and I figured I’d find a use for it eventually.  It did not have a hole in it, so I punched one when I decided to use it as a pendant for this challenge.  Although this woman is from a different time period, the painting still brought it to mind.

In times when things were more formal, there was a lot of lushness and beauty, and more things were handmade!  The art beads I decided to use for this piece are handmade oxidized copper crescent roll beads by Stacie Florer of Soul to Substance.


The hand work of cutting, oxidizing, texturing and forming these beads makes me think of the detail work in former days such as what is perhaps hand embroidery on the fabric of the chair in the painting, Olga’s couture dress or her hand appliqued fan.  I imagine the woman in my pendant working with the milliner to choose the elements for her hat.  I feel like the same sort of thought and care goes into making art beads.


I wanted a luxurious feel for the entire piece, so in addition to the copper beads I used a variety of pearls, crystals and other sparkly beads with colors from the pendant.  I worked a few Picasso Czech glass leaves in the second strand as a nod to the fabric on the chair in the painting.


This was a very fun challenge.  Go to the Art Bead Scene flickr page to check out the other entries for this month.