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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Negative Space, Or
Killing two birds with one stone...

The April exercise for our creative play group was to play with negative space. In a drawing context, this is the pattern of shapes around the object(s) being drawn; if you're putting dots or other surface decoration on a bead, then it's the base color, typically.

Back row shows 3 beads made with the PIG equivalent (more or less) of grass green. I just wanted to use the stuff up & figured it was close enough, and besides I wasn't doing color anyway, just form...(my rationalizations for using cheap glass are endless:) Front row: Effetre star, grass green 022 & white 204

But why be typical? I'd already started playing with lace work beads, which have fascinated me for a long time—after all, a lace bead is just a hollow with a lot more holes in it! So instead of playing with negative space in terms of surface pattern, I think it would be even more interesting to play with negative space in terms of structure.

This bead was inspired by Jennifer Geldard's star beads, except I used two disks instead of one, and ran little bars to attach them; then I started building out the points, using more a drawn-stringer technique rather than the dot-build approach she favors. It was a fun bead to make. 12x38mm (point to point)


I hadn't made any vase beads for a long time and wanted to practice. Since I didn't want to worry about compatibilty I decorated the bead with loops near the top. I figured it would be a fun bead for the bead curtain. 31x43 mm.


I suppose I ought to acid etch this—between the internal bubbles from boiling the glass and shiny surfaces, it'd difficult to see what's going on. But it's difficult to justify all that mess just for a bead curtain bead. approximately 20x19mm


I really went to town with the ‘dotting’ technique to build up structure here. As with the star bead, I started with two disks, and made ‘star’ structures on each: the smaller is ‘pulled up’ into a sort of crown, and the larger just droops a little. The disks are connected by bars, that are dragged out to Vs, point out in the center of each bar. Does that make sense? Of course not? Well, look at the picture...


Strictly speaking, all of these beads were made before this exercise was even assigned, but would seem a good starting point for it. And, if I made all the negative space beads in white and green, it would push that project along some; such efficiency is always appealing...

pig & effetre soda lime, mar2005