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CATHY HELMERS
from Dayton, Ohio

Fourth Bi-Annual 2009
ALL DOLLED UP:
BEADED ART DOLL COMPETITION
Theme: Earthen Mother

Return to the web-page displaying all 6 semi-finalists and overall results

Doll named
Aikatrine
[Please be patient - These pages are graphics intensive and will load slowly]

After reviewing the Beaded Art Doll Images on this page, and reading the artist's stories, materials list, and summary of techniques,

VOTE & EVALUATE

See the overall Results


When voting closes 1/15/10, voting logs will be reviewed for any duplicate or otherwise illegitimate votes (for example, those from the same IP or email address), and these will be deleted. The on-line votes will be tallied and used to adjust the original votes of the Panel of Judges at CBJA, in the selection of a winner. The public's votes will weigh towards 25% of the final tally in selecting the Winner and Runner-Up.



Frontal Image
24" Headdress to Base

Aikatrine

"The mirror reflects more than my hands can feel.
Lines, edges, shadings, a weariness under the eyes, an awkward stance.
Yet, not reflected is a certain vibrancy --
a compassion and wisdom and wonder so many people rely on.
Only you, my beaded art doll,
capture the fullness of me as I age in place .
You embody changes I want to make, so I aptly name you…"


Aikatrine, meaning each of the two.

Life-giver, life-taker.
Powerful, fragile
serene, chaotic
forgiving, harsh
compassionate, rageful

We praise what you provide
   earth air water fire
We fear
   how easily you can ruin us.

We delight in your play
   a wildflower thriving between rocks
   the shimmer of new fallen snow
   giggling breeze-blown corn
   dew drops on cobwebs
We panic
   when thorny entangled vines
   or spider threads,
   menacing and inhospitable,
   make it hard to pass.
We are renewed by your waters
   the roll of your ocean
   your pure, absolvent snow
   the gentle and forceful steadiness of your rains,
      nourishing the earth and soul
      washing away what dulls your beauty
Yet, we are wary of
   the vastness and heaviness of your ocean
We fear the fury of your storms,
We tremble when the ocean, in her ferocity,
   rises to destroy what we've built

We are enchanted by your earth.
   your moist loam, your sandy soils
   your cliffs and mysterious caves
   your red rocks and majestic mountains
We jubilate in
   your mud between our toes
   your sand under our feet
   a child touching your plush lawn for the first time
   the single grain in a handful of sand
We are nourished by your abundance
   your warm, just-picked tomato
   your berries, plump off the bush
   your fruit, juicy and ripe
Yet, we falter
   when your earth shudders, cracks
   and breaks open, making our shelters
   no match for your might

We hold sacred your breathe
   the air, vital yet unseen
   the perfect essence,
   the ebb and flow of existence
We are calmed by your wind,
   the breeze cooling sweat off our skin,
   the brisk air rustling leaves,
   the lazy perfumed summer wind
      that makes trees brush the sky
   the sweet whiff of spring air
      mixed with slivers of rain
      and the scent of fresh mud
Yet, we cower from your howling gusts,
   from the frenzy of your heavy winds,
   from your madness as you sweep across the
      ocean and earth, collecting and spewing,
      destroying and wasting
      and making us powerless.


We are purified by your fire.
   the soothing smell of burning wood,
      its dreamy crackle
   the cleansing tongue of
      sparks to flames to embers
Yet we tremble at your terrible blaze,
   uncontrolled, engulfing
   destructive, catastrophic

We are awed by you.
   your simplicity
      magnificent trees that thrive on
         just sun earth and rain
   your force
      your summer thunder
      your winds that tear branches free
      the deep mysteries of your inner earth
   your capacity of transformation
      the slow change of your water lapping rock
      your devasting storms
         clearing debris for new potential
      the purging fires that prepare for new growth,
         new hope, new life
   your rhythms and signals
      sunset, this day is over, and it was good
   your mysteries
      the balance of all living things
      the alchemy of elements
      the wisdom, chemistry and philosophy
      the spirit of life

This is how we know you.
I wonder, how would you define yourself?
But, Aikatrine has no time for self-reflection.
She is busy with self-regeneration.



 

 

 




Side Image


Back Image


Detailed Image


(rotation)


List of Materials
and Techniques Employed

Dimensions:
Approximately 13" high, 7" wide and 4.5" deep.
With her feathered headdress, she is approximately 17" tall.
From headdress to stand, she is 24" tall.

Construction Techniques:
Fiber-filled cotton fabric form.
Her feathers are glued to her crown.
Her stand, made with the help of a friend, was fashioned from a tree branch which was drilled to hold a knitting needle. The knitting needle is glued into the wood and runs up through the doll.
The stand's embellishment includes feathers and wire-strung beads which are wrapped/glued around the stand and needle.

Materials List:
Doll Form:
cotton fabric, fiber fill

Stand:
wood, feathers, various glass and bone beads, wire

Bead Embroidery:
FireLine, 8, 10 and 11 seed beads; drops; glass and metal flowers, glass and Lucite leaves, bugle beads, poppy jasper and goldstone beads, a variety of Czech glass beads.


Techniques:
Backstitch, Picot and Stacked stitches were used throughout. Larger beads, such as the brown Lucite leaves on her back and the poppy jasper triangles beads around her face were affixed using FireLine after which they were glued into place.

 

    When I make a beaded art doll, I've learned to listen to the doll. She will tell me what she wants to become. This has certainly been the case with Aikatrine. She first came to me about 3 years ago through a seamstress friend who had sewn and stuffed a fabric form, but decided it should come to me "to do something with." I was only about a year into creating beaded dolls, was excited to try a doll of her size, and was inspired by my friend's choice of fabric.

Aikatrine wanted me to help her come to life, so I slowly started to collect beads and affix them, pretty much following the fabric on the front of the doll. She became my winter project. She dictated every bead, and wanted plenty of variety. She asked for richness and texture and complexity. She asked for the colors of the earth and sky and water. She asked for leaves and flowers and shapes.

Her face was added well into the beading process. It is molded from polymer clay. Her eyes are fashioned from drop beads nestled in white polymer clay.

Though I didn't quite feel she was done, I put her away after finishing the front of the doll. The fabric on the back was a solid dotted color and I wasn't sure where to go with it; I was tired of beading just one doll for months; and she seemed pleased enough with what I had done. She spent most of her time from then on in a closet (I have cats so I didn't want her exposed and collecting cat hair), occasionally coming out for show. But she still didn't feel finished to me -- she needed some sort of crown, I knew, but I was content with leaving her back unbeaded.

Apparently, Aikatrine was not content. I'd considered for months whether to enter the Earthen Mother contest. I had several ideas but none of them came to fruition and had just about decided I wouldn't enter the contest when Aikatrine scolded me from the closet.

"You know you have the start of an Earthen Mother right here," she said. "You've left me in this closet far too long, and it's time I had my due."

So, out of the closet she came. As I beaded the back of her, I became increasingly aware of what she wanted to express. I also realized that I wasn't capable of telling her full story three years ago. I'd give her a 'front', a 'face', an 'image'. But, I had not been able to show her mysteries ... her enormous restorative powers, even in her wrath ... her amazing interweavings ... her vulnerabilities ... her pride ... her complex simplicities ... her grandeur and her grace.

To me, Aikatrine expresses the extremes of nature, and all that is in-between. She is the life-giving and life-taking spiral that is reflected in nature and in each of our lives.

 

 

 


CATHY HELMERS
from Dayton, Ohio


Doll named
Aikatrine
[Please be patient - These pages are graphics intensive and will load slowly]

After reviewing the Beaded Art Doll Images on this page, and reading the artist's stories, materials list, and summary of techniques,

VOTE & EVALUATE

See the overall Results


When voting closes 1/15/10, voting logs will be reviewed for any duplicate or otherwise illegitimate votes (for example, those from the same IP or email address), and these will be deleted. The on-line votes will be tallied and used to adjust the original votes of the Panel of Judges at CBJA, in the selection of a winner. The public's votes will weigh towards 25% of the final tally in selecting the Winner and Runner-Up.


Frontal Image

   
   


Return to Land of Odds
    Providing bead and jewelry making artists with virtually all their beads,
    supplies, books and jewelry findings needs, with over 30,000 products.

Return to the web-page displaying all 6 semi-finalists and overall results

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or about the Contest as a whole, on our blog.



**********************

 

Contemporizing Traditional Etruscan Jewelry
May 22-29, 2010, Cortona, Italy

Toscana Americana has invited Warren Feld of Land of Odds and The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts to lead this 8-day Jewelry Design Workshop.   Enjoy the relaxed pace of Italian living with an in-depth educational experience on your sojourn to Cortona and the Medieval hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria. For both beginner and intermediate level beaders and jewelry makers alike.
Read a
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Return to Land of Odds
    Providing bead and jewelry making artists with virtually all their beads,
    supplies, books and jewelry findings needs, with over 30,000 products.