Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bead Class with David Dean

Ah, Santa Fe!
My cousin Tracy and I had a bowl of green chili stew overlooking the plaza the night before our Two Needle Applique class with the great Native American beader, David Dean.

Under his grandmother's tutelage, David started beading broomsticks with pony beads when he was five years old, and he's been at it ever since.
He taught us the deceptively simple technique of Two Needle Applique, which is basically couching lines of beads down onto leather or fabric.
It was a small class, and there wasn't that much technical instruction required, so we were lucky to hear lots of stories about how he views different Native American tribes practicing their beadwork. Cheyennes are meticulous, and the Sioux are much more loose; Pueblo are highly traditional and the Navajo are wild and improvisational, for example...
We learned how to "museum up" new beadwork to make it look old. He does a lot of museum restoration so he knows all the tricks.
What a great story teller and teacher he was!

Here is some of the work he brought to class to show us.

I believe the background is called "Lazy Stitch", but the roses and butterfly use the two needle technique.

Many of these objects were made for the various Native American dances David and his family participate in. It was really fun to hear about those, too.

This includes Mickey Mouse here, for a five year old nephew's costume!

The picture applique is magnificent I think.

Those are size 22 beads in the salmon there for detail. You don't have to use the same sized beads throughout a picture.
He said, "If you can draw it, you can bead it," and suggested looking at childrens' coloring books for great design ideas.

David showed us how to draft the mandala-like designs (I wish I could remember the term for them) that he beads.

He makes it look so easy.

But they are NOT easy! So beautiful and powerful, though.

It is rather slow work--but very enjoyable.
Of course it can be used in crazy quilting. (Every needle and beadwork technique can, just about.)

I gave it my best shot.....

The beads are supposed to lay flat, not stick up in little bumps. That's because I made the classic beginner's mistake of trying to fit too many beads in the space available.
But I hope to get better. This is a really great technique, and I loved learning it from such a master.

My cousin Tracy is a master of her pine needle basket technique. (She would not agree to this, but I believe it is so.) I did a photo shoot of some of her work and I'll post that tomorrow.

20 comments :

Raspberry said...

This looks so much fun! You'll have to post your finished work.

Kay said...

That's really interesting. I've never thought much about those beaded designs (duh). They would be wonderful in crazy quilting. I see you jumped in with a rose :)

Judy S. said...

Oh Allie, I'm turning green with envy, not because it's St. Patrick's Day! To be in Santa Fe with sunshine and beading classes, how fun! BTW, it's snowed a little the past THREE mornings. I think our dear state has forgotten what March is supposed to be.

Vicki W said...

Oh wow, what fun that must be!

verobirdie said...

It must have been fun! Your flower will look good too. Amazing to see such a big man sewing tiny beads :-)

Amy said...

What fun, I have never tried this technique, I will have to look into it. In the musuem collections at work (the State Historical Society of ND) they have a wonderful collection of native american beading including a vast amount of floral designs.

Lisa said...

Beautiful work! How lucky you are to take a class from someone who is such a master of the craft! Your rose is lovely too! Can't wait to see how you incorporate your new beadwork skills into your crazy quilts!

Cathy K said...

Your post was so interesting. How lucky you are to take a class from this gentleman - truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I know you'll grow in this technique, put your unique Allie spin on it, and be teaching US some tricks! Hugs, Cathy

Summerset said...

Cool! What a fun class!

EMBELLISHER said...

That sounds like a wonderful class. I would love to take a beading class.

Plays with Needles said...

Your little rose is very very sweet == what an absolute treat to be able to take a class that's filled with such historical significance. I love being immersed in a completely different world for a time -- there's so much to absorb. I loved seeing pics of all the examples too.

We use two needles when doing japanese bead embroidery...i'm assuming it's similar? Have a great day, Susan

Debra said...

What is so grand about CQ is that the more techniques you learn, the more open the arms of CQ are to embrace those techniques. What freedom! and what a cool new idea to add every now and then!

Jean said...

What a multi talented person you are. All for the betterment of your CQing! The rose is nice. I'm thinking mine would be flying every which way!

Miekenoor said...

Oh, how nice it is to watch together with you over your shoulder, as we say it in The Netherlands. This way I learn a bit, too. What a beautiful beadpaintings these are!

Marty52 said...

Oh, lucky you, Allie. Such a treat to learn from the source... I gotta go next year!

Marie Alton said...

Ohhhh...I'm so jealous! What incredible beadwork! Lucky you to have had a class with this man!
Simply amazing.

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Allie, I think that David's Indian beading is a true art. Wonderful that he is keeping it alive. Lucky you to have lessons from him. Hugs Judy

Doe Eyes Beadery said...

Allie, I was searching the web for bead blogs and found a link to this entry you did from our class! It was a fun reminder of a good day!

Vemula Madhu said...

very talented art
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Marilyn Peters said...

Do you have a way that I could contact him? I am (small) part Lakota and Program Chair of the Bead Society of Northern California (BSNC). Ever since seeing his book, I have been interested in having him as a speaker at our monthly meeting. mpeters185@gmail.com Marilyn Peters. Thank you.