Tag : nitocris

11 years, 2 months ago 27



This is a sketch for a project from 2006. This early doll Nitocris is a portrayal of a Egyptian pharaoh of the sixth dynasty who avenged the political assassination of her brother at the hands of traitors by inviting them to a banquet in a sealed room and then flooding it with Nile. Some stories say that she chose to remain inside and die with her victims while others claim that she committed suicide later. Her very existence is not a proven, historical fact, but since not many things from four thousand years ago are, I choose to believe in her life and death.

You can see significant differences between the sketch and the actual piece. Although a sketch is a good thing to have before embroidering a design with beads, I often deviate from it quite a bit. My beading style is very instinctive and tactile. I let my needle and my beads take me in the direction that feels right, regardless of the sketch, relying instead on my immediate sense of composition, color and shape. So, every bead embroidery session is a form of improvisation with changes, surprises and excitement about the evolution of the design.  Making up the design as I go is like discovering a secret, one bead, one stone, one pearl at a time. The process is incredibly slow but interesting at the same time because you feel that all that repetition is going to turn into something wonderful when it’s complete. And that makes it all worth it.

The monotony begins as soon as I finish the design on one side and start replicating it on the other. Repeating a pattern is definitely easier and less time consuming than figuring it all out, but it’s not very entertaining. And that’s why I never replicate beaded costumes: I’ve already discovered its secret and without that mystery, the bead-work is nothing but hundreds of hours of soulless repetition. And that is not worth my precious time.