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I’ve been a little bit distracted the past couple of weeks by a new tangent. I’m fascinated by the discovery of gut flora and the concept that our bodies are more of an eco system than a single organism (since there are more microorganisms in a human body than human cells). Sometimes the wonky polymer clay beads I make have some personality, so I think of them as “creature beads”. I put the ideas together to make a bead habitat where my creature beads could live.

Bead habitat by Cate van Alphen

Bead habitat by Cate van Alphen

I suppose it can be described as an abstract 3D textile painting. I tried to make something lush and varied like a rich ecosystem (something like a garden or rock pool). I used scraps of fleece fabric that I had to hand, but I think it would have benefited from having another layer of more decorative fabric over the top. The fleece gives a nice dimensional structure, but I found the solid blocks of colour a bit of a challenge visually.

Bead habitat detail by Cate van Alphen

Bead habitat detail by Cate van Alphen

It also includes some of my handmade polymer clay beads, glass seed beads and silk covered wire spirals.

Bead habitat detail by Cate van Alphen

Bead habitat detail by Cate van Alphen

I actually finished it last week (at least I think it’s finished), but then I discovered another, slightly related, rabbit hole which I’ll tell you about soon. Don’t worry, I still have some polymer clay beads ready for tomorrow.

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