Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bead Arts Awards 2009


I have been sitting impatiently on this news for a while, but I can finally now formally announce that my piece, "Natural Selection", won Second Place in the Necklace category of the Bead Arts Awards 2009. The piece is part of the evolution of my "Cabinets of Curiosity" concept and is made from metal clay, and mammoth bone beads (remember those?) with specimens such as a fossilized walrus tooth and a shark tooth, a gorgeous fossilized sand dollar and various urchins, ammonites, trilobites and geodes.

I distinctly remember reading about the winners of the 2008 award (you can download photos of last year's winners by going here - I'm completely in love with Michelle Prosek's "Koi" which took First in the Beaded Object category) and thinking how nice it would be to earn a place among them. I just received my advance copies of the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of Step by Step Beads, which publishes the winners of the Bead Arts Awards, and it's hard to express just how happy I am, seeing my piece in the showcase.

I had a lot of scheduling issues this year, and I haven't been able to spend as much time beading as I would like. This spring, I made a decision to forego (most) magazine submissions, cut back on blogging and anything else bead-related, in favor of working on two big pieces, namely "Natural History" and "Natural Selection", above. While there are things I would do differently in retrospect (and will do differently next year), making these pieces and entering the contests was a big learning experience for me - a good one.

I think I'm making progress, and I can't ask for more than that! Thanks so much to the folks at Step by Step Beads and the judges of this year's contest. You've really helped make this year a good one for me.

(Oh, and if you're wondering - we refer to "Natural Selection" as "The Breastplate" at home - it's huge. I designed it to be worn by someone with a longer neck than me - who would actually look good wearing a strapless black dress. Sigh.)

22 comments:

Indian Creek Studios said...

wow! I love the beads in this, that is my kind of jewelry!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Pam (and thanks for visiting)!

stregata said...

This piece is magnificent!! Congratulations - very deserved!! I just love the focal - I am nuts about little boxes...

mairedodd said...

congratulations! so well deserved! this is really great... so well designed and executed...

jodi said...

Congratulations. This piece is truly incredible and unique. A well deserved honor. Enjoy!

susanc said...

Congratulations!!!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, everyone!! I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!
I love the big and chunky - and how the little boxes create a bigger picture. Reminds me of the wood shadow boxes we'd make featuring our favorite things.
sandi

Alice said...

Congratulations! This is a magnificant piece! I'm in awe....

Melissa J. Lee said...

Sandi, I wanted to create a new way of organizing and displaying little treasures and found objects in jewelry - and this was the result. Thanks!

Alice, Thank you! I love your avatar!

Cyndi L said...

OHMYGOSH!!! I am SO proud of you!!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Cyndi!

Jean Campbell said...

It's a great piece, Melissa. The award is well-deserved!

Zoya Gutina said...

Congrats, Melissa! You've done it!

Jean said...

This groundbreaking necklace belongs in a museum and I expect that one day it shall be. Do you know the book, a History of Beads? I imagine it appearing in that book.

Melissa--WOW! You pulled this from straight your soul, the collective souls of all humans who have gone before,and your natural and remarkble insight into what life and nature are really about.

By the way, I, jean, have an amazingly long neck.

xox

Melissa J. Lee said...

Jean (C.),

Thank you - I'm so honored that you and the other judges selected the piece. It's really made my year!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Zoya, Thank you very much!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Jean (Y. - it's tough with two Jeans here!),

You are so sweet! The History of Beads is a fabulous book - I can't imagine a bigger compliment. Thank you so much.

In my heart of hearts, I know I still have a long way to go mastering this medium, but I'm really glad people like this piece!!

Get your strapless black dress out! I'm sure you would look completely fabulous wearing it! (To be honest, I get the piece out late at night and wear it around the house while I write bills/do the dishes, but it's just not the same...)

Tammy said...

Awesome work and totally deserved honor!

Zoya Gutina said...

My congrats, dear Melissa!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thank you, Zoya!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thank you, Zoya!