Front view of Thor, a whitetail deer beaded skull art piece.
Front view of Thor, a whitetail deer beaded skull art piece.
“Thor” a whitetail deer beaded skull art piece.

Thor is an outstanding non-typical whitetail deer beaded skull art piece. Are you a fan of the Old Norse red-headed god or the golden-haired Thor of Marvel® fame? Either way he speaks of physical and moral strength and power.

At the center of this beaded skull art design are three diamond shapes made of tiny Siam Swarovski® crystals surrounded by Black Onyx fans and teardrops. This large focal center piece is outlined by brecciated jasper and fire-polished faceted jet-black glass beads. Giving the eyes an aura of fierceness are ruby red and opaque black glass beads. And small groups of light Siam flat back, Swarovski® crystal rhinestone called Xirius add unexpected flashes of red. Theses dazzling crystals are named after Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, fitting perfectly with the theme of this majestic beaded skull art piece.

Continue reading below to see the making of Thor.

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  • Dimensions:
    29.5″ w × 25″ l × 23.5″ h

The Making of “Thor”, a whitetail deer beaded skull mount

Cleaning & Clay

This beautiful non-typical whitetail skull came to me in pretty good shape. Only missing common little bones and discolored. He did, however have some odd bone growth between his eyes. Probably from previous wounds. It was obvious from broken tines that he was a fighter! I definitely expected extra work during the clay process.

Despite bone formation on his forehead the clay process did not take any longer than usual. And his antlers cleaned up fairly well.

I learned how heavy that “hammer” on his right antler is. It made the balance awkward and it got by head a couple of times before I sorted out how to place him while working. Not the first Whitetail that has happened with, so no big deal.

Beginning of beaded skull art process
The forehead area was going to need some extra clay work.
Whitetail skull in clay ready for beading process.
Antlers cleaned and clay complete.

Paint and Antlers

I wanted the paint on this skull to have a metallic feel, sort of like armor. But the god of thunder wouldn’t have just any armor. It had to have a little more pizzazz. So first I painted it gold and went over that with a thin layer of metallic bronze. That left the gold peeking through a bit, giving it just a little sparkle. I darkened up the antlers as well as they were still a bit discolored in places and were too light for this color scheme.

Thor painted and ready for beading
Thor painted and ready for beading.

Bead Selection and Process

Rather than using one bead as the focal point for this beaded skull art piece, I decided to do something very different. I chose a black onyx “fan” set and teardrops and arranged them the full length down the center of the skull. Then used over 150 tiny Siam Swarovski® biocone crystals to create three diamond shapes inside (not shown here).

This was a complicated design. Therefore, as you can see, I did not try to lay everything out beforehand. I took some measurements and proceeded slowly and meticulously to ensure everything lined up just so.

I also used several unusually shaped beads in this design. Some I knew where I wanted them to fit in, others I let find their place as the designed progressed.

A large focal point design was used.
A large focal point design was used.

Sealing and Naming

Sealing the antlers gives them a little shine. However, for this beaded skull design I wanted them to appear more rugged so I chose not to use the sealant on them.

I sealed the smaller glass beads but left the onyx and faceted beads natural. The sealant can cause those beads to lose a bit of their luster.

The right side of his gorgeous non-typical antler shape immediately struck me as a “hammer”. I had wanted to use red and black beads on my next skull. Since, in Old Norse Thor is described as red haired it seemed only natural to name him for the hammer-wielding god of thunder. However, in Hollywood he has golden hair. So, adding some gold to his design seemed a good modern compromise and added a nice pop of color.

Legends say Thor is the fierce eyed, iron gloved god of not just storms and lightening but all weather, associated with the protection of mankind and fertility of the land. Strong in character, body and morals Thor is the good guy.

Top view of finished whitetail deer beaded skull artwork, "Thor".
“Thor” and his Hammer.

Beaded Memories

Making beaded memories with Zoe.
Making beaded memories with Zoe.
Leesa’s granddaughter, Zoe making
beaded memories.

Spending time with family is always special. And one-on-one time with grandchildren is even better, especially when you enjoy the same things. I recently had the pleasure of sharing some beaded memories with one of mine.

My granddaughter, Zoe Davis and I have shared coloring (the big girl kind), puzzles and sewing as well as making button jewelry and silk flower arrangements. Being creative together is fun but its even better with someone who makes you laugh, and Zoe and I do a lot of that!

Sharing Beaded Art Making

Recently she spent some time with us and was checking out my current beaded skull art project. After asking several questions about it and how I come up with my design ideas she asked if she could try beading! Hmmm…let me think, you would like to try something I am absolutely passionate about? Well…YES!!!

We set her up with her own “beading station” at my art table, picked out an array of beads and a glass rosebud vase for her to work on. I gave her a couple of tips on working with the glue and such and then just let her go with it.

Leesa and granddaughter Zoe having some laughs together.
Leesa and Zoe sharing some giggles.
Leesa and granddaughter, Zoe making beaded memories together.
Grandma and granddaughter making beaded memories together.

Admittedly, I could have made it into “lesson”, teaching her about beads, techniques, placement, blah, blah, blah. But she wasn’t asking for a lesson, she just wanted to be creative.

Over the next few days she beaded with me as well as randomly sitting down to bead while I worked on other things.

Once she announced she was finished but later changed her mind and added a bit more.

In the end it turned out super cute! High five, fist bump, thumbs up, Zoe!

Zoe and her beaded rosebud vase creation.
Zoe and her pretty rosebud vase beaded art creation.

I would be thrilled if she caught the “beading bug” from this experience. But if not, she will always have her beaded vase and we both will have the memories we made together while she created it. Obviously making beaded art is important to me, but making memories with my granddaughter means far more.

Thank you, Zoe for being the creative, entertaining and beautiful young lady that you are. And for still wanting to spend time with me, sharing, doing things and making memories together. Grandma loves you!