The best of both worlds come together in this workshop to explore the process of creating miniature boxes. In the 18th century, Grand Tours were de rigueur for the royal families of Europe, as well as, wealthy young men experiencing life before settling into the demands of having a family, along with couples on their honeymoon. Many travelers commissioned miniature boxes, called souvenir boxes, to remind them of cities that they had visited or a spectacular event that they witnessed, like a circus act; or to document the excitement of a fox hunt. Some boxes were commissioned to show off an ancestral home, castle or palace. A lymnerist (miniature portrait painter) could be commissioned to paint miniature portraits of children, family and friends, making these little boxes keepsakes, as in the collection of Easter eggs created by Fabergé for Tsars Alexeander III and Nicolas II of Russia. These miniature works of art were the aristocracies’ form of souvenir collecting.
Kings and Queens commissioned souvenir boxes, presentation boxes and snuffboxes to give as gifts to loyal subjects. Nothing but the best materials was used for these little masterful gems. The boxes were made of gold, enamel, precious gems and pearls, cameos and intaglios along with miniature paintings. The craftsmanship is truly spectacular!
In this workshop we will explore techniques that lend themselves to a variety of box shapes. Using seed beads and Delica beads, fine patina copper sheet, CZ’s and pearls, tiny cup-chain, specialty findings along with embellishing and finishing materials, students will create their own souvenir box. Once the box body is underway, we will work on options for embellishing. This portion of the workshop will be really exciting, as there will be lots of samples to look at and plenty of materials to work with to create a one-of-a-kind souvenir box.
I will instruct students on how to measure and cut the metal, punch holes for adding feet and embellishments, setting small CZ’s successfully, and then walk the students through the process of gathering supplies for embellishing. As we move into the embellishing stage of the project, I will be on board to assist with decision-making and how to best approach the process of embellishing, along with color theory and moral support!
Display it or use it, either way these designs will stand the test of time as an inspiration for creating beautiful works of art!
Skill level: This workshop is advanced. The student must having beading skills but does not need any skills with using metal.
Dimensions: Oval box: 2.5 inches deep x 3.25 inches wide x 1.5 inches tall. Round box: 3 inches wide x 1.5 inches tall. Triangular box: 3 inches deep x 3 inches wide x 4 inches tall
Cutting thin patina metal and creating support materials to create structure for the box
Exploring the design process for embellishment and construction
Learn about using CZ’s, cup-chain, small pearls to add interest to the box
Learn how to use hole punches in order to attach feet and embellishments
Odd count flat peyote stitch
Optional stitches for embellishment will depend on each students design to possibly include brick stitch, herringbone, netting, RAW, CRAW etc.
Peyote stitch, even count and with increasing
Stitch-in-the-ditch shaping techniques
Specialty items are always a good thing to think about bringing to class. Cabochons, cameos, hand-painted cameos, metal pieces etc. For the larger pieces look at something no larger than about 40mm or so, whether round, oval or square, we can make it work. For smaller items like crystals, decorative beads and such, these need to be small as the box can get overloaded with details.
For seed beads and Delica beads, make sure to bring a palette that the 15°, 11° and delica beads match, then think about your embellishing beads (15°’s and 11°s) and any other beads that you think you might need. There are so many options! Think small though.
Materials fee: $140.00 (This fee includes the following materials to make 3 boxes)
Materials that are included in the materials fee:
• 36 gauge patina copper, color of choice for one oval box
• 36 gauge patina copper, color of choice for a round box
• 36 gauge patina copper, color of choice for a triangular box
• Template plastic for support material for three boxes
• Gridded template plastic for making templates for three boxes
• Ultrasuede for three boxes
• 1 roll each of ¼’ and 1” wide Terrifically Tacky Tape
• 1 full color Beadwork & Metal: Meet in the Middle Book
What I will have in class for sale:
The Treasures Table: For this event I will have the following:
Antique 19th century buttons
Hand-painted Russian cameos
Italian shell cameos
Swarovski 14PP cup-chain in 5 colors and finishes
Swarovski 4mm cup chain in 2 colors
CZ set baby cup-chain in 7 colors plus baby pearl cup chain
Box Construction Table:
EuroTool 4-hole riveting punches
Patina copper in 12 colors
Pencils & Ultra Fine Point permanent markers
Teflon scissors for cutting metal, plastic and Terrifically Tacky Tape
Template plastic, regular heavy weight and gridded
Terrifically Tacky Tape in 2 widths
Ultrasuede LT in lots of colors
What you will need to bring to class: The following list of materials is a guide as to what was used in my samples.
Materials: The quantities can change due to your needs, as well as, what box shape you plan on making in class, but this is a good guide.
10 - 15 grams 15° seed beads (main color)
1 - 3 grams each of 15° seed beads in a small palette of color for accent
1-2 grams each of a series of 15° seed beads in a gradation of color for flowers if desired
30 grams of Delica beads that matches the 15° main seed beads
10 grams 11° seed beads (main color)
3- 5 grams each of 11° seed beads in a small palette of color for accent
1-3 grams of a series of 11° seed beads in a gradation of color for flowers if desired
An assortment of embellishing beads: This is a pretty wide-open category but think along the lines of crystals, semi-precious beads, specialty beads, spacers in metal and/or glass, Charlottes, pearls etc.
Specialty pieces for the top of the oval and round boxes and the sides of the triangular boxes so think about cabochons, cameos, glass pieces etc.
Microcrystalline beading wax
Nylon beading thread in a variety of colors
Beading needles: Size 11, 12, 13 and 15 beading needles. You may need a few sharps for tight places
Jewelry grade flush cutters for cutting cup chain
Jewelry grade chain nose pliers for removing the bits inside the cup-chain once cut
Needle puller comes in handy
Notebook or tablet for taking notes
Thread burner and batteries