2021: From Here to There to Where?

As the year draws to a close I wanted to take the time to reflect on my journey this year through the world of bead mosaics, in particular looking at where I went this year and what my intentions are for the year ahead.

In 2020 I had barely begun my bead mosaic journey before the year was already ending. In 2021, it opened with dreams and possibilities still to be realized. I was still learning my craft, with a limited understanding of whether the quality of work I was producing was any good, however 2021 started with promise. In January I completed Max the Pug. He will always hold a soft spot in my heart. He was my first dog and my first commission. I loved creating this piece and am so happy that he is with a couple who both adore their dog enough to commission a portrait and who also love this piece.

In March, I finally got my courage up, (and I mean it was courage as I almost did not apply) and applied to the Museum of Beadwork's Wings and Stings competition. I was convinced that it was just a good thing to do for the experience and that it would be nice to be a part of something like this, but ultimately it would go nowhere. I never expected and was happily surprised to be named the Winner of the Tapestry Section of the Wings and Stings competition. There were many amazing entries, both in my category and others, if you are interested you should head over to the MOB website and check them out!

This year I notice that my confidence in my chosen medium has improved. When I started the year, I was so scared about how to place the beads and worried that things would go wrong. I was also still figuring out certain techniques and the best way to do it. Now I notice that I am more focused and productive in my choices and also more willing to try things knowing that the piece might fail and it will need to be thrown away. I am ok with this and actually love that this is part of my process.

At the end of this year, I am branching out into customizing my own frames. In the photo above on the right, you can see that the frame is still unfinished and is slowly being beaded, section by section. I am excited about this as it will allow me to take old unloved frames and create something new and special that will totally fit whichever piece I am working on at the time.

So what do I have planned for next year? 2022 will see me trying to expand my inventory. I want a greater range of pieces on my website for people to see and be able to purchase. I want to challenge myself and create new and exciting pieces that will push my skills further and further. I also want to apply to a couple of galleries next year and see if I can find a physical location to display my work. A lot of what makes a bead mosaic special is how the light interacts with the beads. This is better seen in person, yet at the moment I have limited ability to show my pieces to people in this manner. I also hope to write more blog posts on my website. I thought I would be doing a piece every month but it has not worked out this way. May 2022 bring more opportunities to write and more things to share!

May all our dreams come true in 2022! Have a very Happy New Year!

Kate (Katharine) of KaLiaMosaics

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