Sunday, April 19, 2015

Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge

Every morning for the past, at least 10 years, I have woken to this painting which hangs on a wall in our bedroom. I was fortunate to see it in the original when I traveled to The National Gallery in Ottawa, Canada for a major exhibition called Sol Y Vida Modern Mexican Art  1900-1950. That was in the Spring 2000.  We bought this giant poster at that time and sometime later my husband framed it.

                             When I think of Frida Kahlo, I think of big beads, big jewelry and flowers.

                Frida Kahlo, click for larger image
                                 Photograph of Frida Kahlo wearing some of her big bead jewelry

                      Photograph of Frida Kahlo wearing a necklace of big beads and large earrings

                         Photograph of Frida Kahlo with her jewelry and flowers in  her hair

Today the Art Bead Scene Editors are taking the Challenge and sharing with you some of their work inspired by Friday Kahlo and her paining Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. First I am going to  some very large beads I  made at least 10 years ago
      Frida Kahlo inspired beads by Mary Harding--each bead is a least 1 -1 1/2 inches long

              A necklace I made at about the same time using some of these very big beads

Slipping back into the present, I made a few very big flowers for this post:

                                         bisque fired ceramic big flower beads

     Large flower beads glazed and the final firing.  The two white ones have been tumbled to smooth out some of the edges .

When I thought very specifically about the painting, I  focused on the butterflies resting on Frida's hair and made several butterfly toggle clasps reflecting her use of  black and white -- in the painting they are made to look like lace.  I used some lace netting that I had to create the background for the black and white butterfly toggle clasps:

Butterfly Toggle Clasp inspired by Frida Kahlo's painting Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

I choose to combine the delicacy of the lacy butterfly with the rigid  toggle bar as a reference to her early bus accident that cause her life long pain and confined her to a metal corset for much of her life.

Now let's see what the others have made:


  1. I am a huge fan of Frida Kahlo's art and of her look. I love everything you've created here. The large flower beads are fantabulous!

    1. Thanks so much Ann. I am so pleased you like my big Frida Flowers. I hope they perpetuate "her look." So glad you stopped by.

  2. How wonderful that you were able to see the painting in person! I love that. The big beads are awesome and the flowers really capture her style. The toggle, perfect! I love seeing what you make for the challenges. I think I need to create a big bead necklace to channel my inner Frida!

    1. Thank you Heather!! There is such a presence in the painting. I felt very lucky to see them--there were several in the show. I surely agree that you should follow your inner Frida and make a big bead necklace and even invite others to join in!!

  3. I love Frida ... she was so ahead of her time! and that 3rd picture of her is so awesome ... you can see where the facial distinctions come from! Love the beads and that necklace with it's pop of red would be perfect for Frida for sure!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Cynthia!! I am so glad you like the pictures and my beads and necklace. And of course Frida!!!!

  4. This month's challenge painting has me reading everything I can find on Frida. The photos you included of her really bring her to life! Your big flower beads would look terrific around Frida's long, graceful neck, and I love those lacy toggles!

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