Posts Tagged ‘snake’

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Good Neighbors in Time.

May 2, 2020

The beadwork below focuses on the Chinese Year of the Horse. The snake and the goat precede and follow the horse in the Chinese Zodiac. This is the second post on past beading ideas I have been revisiting.

 

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 1. Loom weaving by Mike Smetzer

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 1.

The first version in this series is the most realistic, but trying to present a goat with just a few beads in the background of the scene proved problematic. For this I would need smaller beads or a larger loom.

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 2. Loom weaving by Mike Smetzer.

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 2.

For the second bead weaving I went for a very abstract reference to the goat, which doubled as snow on the mountains. I also replaced the little shrubs with trees and refined the shape of the horse. The goat in this version might seem too abstract. The horse definitely lost presence because of the darkness of three trees right behind it.

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 3. Loom weaving by Mike Smetzer.

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 3.

The third version hits what I think is the right level of abstraction with a goat head, although at the expense of the mountains. The horse works much better distanced from the trees.

The fourth version plays down the goat head by just using its horns and brings back small mountains and trees on the skyline. It abstracts the stream of time by making it run straight to the horizon. The full belly of the snake is also a bit submerged here to avoid having it float above the water like a swan.

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 4. Loom weaving by Mike Smetzer.

The Horse Jumping Between the Snake and the Goat. Number 4.

 

“Snake in an Egg” Bead Weavings: Pentagram, Octagon with Spirals

May 2, 2020

 

So here I am sitting in self-isolation, wondering when I can go back to my day job. Not surprisingly this has led me to bring out writing and art projects I have not been able to finish while working full-time. I have decided most recently to revisit some old beading projects from a few years ago.

 

White & green water snake in an egg. Beadwork by Mike Smetzer.

White & green water snake in an egg.

Green & gold water snake in an egg. Beadwork by Mike Smetzer.

Green & gold water snake in an egg.

 

These two water snakes were designs for the last Chinese Year of the Water Snake. Chinese astrology has twelve animal signs, so the snake comes around every twelve years. But every two years the element associated with the year changes. Chinese astrology has five elements, so it turns out that there are five different years of the snake, each associated with a different element. As a result of these overlapping progressions, the Year of the Water Snake comes around only once every sixty years. In times past, for the great majority of people, it would be a once in a life time event. For me today, it means if I want a design for each of these years, I’d better get busy.

These designs were woven on a home-made loom using Miyuki 8/0 seed beads. The “snake in an egg” is the featured part of a design for a larger hanging. I like the idea of the little snake being in the egg ready to emerge at the start of its new year. Both snakes are meant to show depth as they spiral toward the viewer. The first snake is looped into an irregular pentagram. The second loops into an irregular octagon.

Obviously these designs are very different in style. The white and green snake is freer, more energetic, younger, and more emotional. Perhaps a bit frightening. The green and gold snake is stylized, controlled, older, and more reflective. It is like a mandala. I like both snakes. I have different moods.

A post to follow presents designs that depict not only the wood horse but also that reference the snake it follows and the goat it precedes.

 

Chinese Year of the Horse 2014 Bead Wall Hangings

January 29, 2014

Only four wall hangings competed so far for this year’s Chinese New Year (January 31), the Year of the Horse. A fifth variation is planned but is awaiting recovery from a minor hand injury at work.

I wove these wall hangings on a wooden bead loom.  I then stitched the top rows together and inserted a wooden  stick.  The hangings are approximately 3½ inches wide.  The beads are Miyuki 8/0 glass seed beads. The most recent hanging is first.

These designs are my own.  Copyright © 2014 by Michael Smetzer.  Thank you for not duplicating them.

Chinese Year of the Horse Wall Hanging 4 - Original Beadwork by Mike Smetzer

Year of the Horse 4

Chinese Year of the Horse Wall Hanging 3 - Original Beadwork by Mike Smetzer

Year of the Horse 3

Chinese Year of the Horse Wall Hanging 2 - Original Beadwork by Mike Smetzer

Year of the Horse 2

Chinese Year of the Horse Wall Hanging 1 - Original Beadwork by Mike Smetzer

Year of the Horse 1

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