Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Labors: Russian Bead Stitching



I was first exposed to the look of Russian Beadwork with the Russian Leaf. There was a bead artist in the Boulder Weaver's Guild with me who had made these as earrings. That was back in 2004. I hadn't thought of the Russian Leaf stitch again until I began working on my piece "Clambering." Above is a detail of one of the Russian Leaves I made, and below is an image of the full piece. I found this bead stitch very hard to find on the Internet. There is a version that calls itself a Russian Leaf but is peyote stitch based instead of this Russian stitch. I did finally find a tutorial which is unprintable, but after a few times of doing this stitch, you really get the hang of it and can make it your own. There are no words, only pictures and you can find it HERE. "Clambering" currently hangs on our dinning room, which looks great with the maroon wallpaper behind it. This piece is still a bit of a work in progress. I would like to put quite a few more leaves into it.
The newest Russian Stitch:


In my search to find the Russian Leaf Stitch I came upon this Russian St. Petersburg chain from BeadandButton.com. I had completely forgotten about it until we were cleaning bits of everything in our basement yesterday. I had thought this looked like a cool pattern, printed it, then promptly forgotten about it. This popped up at the right moment as I had been pondering what kind of necklace to make for my Renaissance Festival costume this weekend. This is my first one, thinking that black goes with everything and I could only find black goldstone beads in abundance that were the correct size for the center bead. It V's in the center and has a wonderful lay around the base of your neck. The stone beads down the center give it a nice weight too. This pattern also gives the lariat option. I have never been successful at lariats, but I am going to try one to go with my costume, and fringe it with the Russian Leaves for the bottom weights.
I hope to post a successful outcome sooner than later!!!!