Beaded Skull Art: Tsar

Commissioned Beaded Skull Art: Tsar

Commissioned Beaded Skull Art: Tsar

This is Tsar, a very special commissioned memorial beaded skull art piece. Many of my artworks are trophy skulls and I love that experience and their stories but this is about a life to be remembered and much loved.

He left his family and friends young and without warning. This type of commemorative artwork may not be for everyone. But I respect that we all grieve our loses and choose different ways to memorialize our loved ones, human and otherwise. And, once I heard his life’s story and learned about his sweet personality, I knew this was something I had to do.

The Design and Beading Process

I did not use clay on Tzar because, for one he was so little and delicate. But mostly because I wanted to keep him in as natural a state as possible. I also did not paint him for the same reason. It was straight to beading.

The biggest challenge was how tiny he is. I used the tiniest beads possible in order to not overwhelm his size. Itsy bitsy beads take a while to apply but the ability to hold him in my hand as I worked with him was a delight!

Determining the central design on such a small canvas was also a challenge. Going from the size of skulls I normally bead to this size was like painting a portrait on a postage stamp. I had to toss several ideas when they just didn’t suit his size and shape.

The majority of the beads are white, as Tzar was with a bit of brown and gray representing his markings and an amber Swarovski flatback crystal denoting a predominant one. His eyes were the prettiest shades of blue so his friend asked for that to be central in the design. The sapphire at the center is a symbol of royalty and given his name that in itself seemed very appropriate. However, this gem is also said to bring peace of mind and joy. Perhaps it will bring those things to his friend when she holds him.

An Honored Experience

I am honored to have had this experience and I will not forgot it. It was the second time I found it strangely difficult to part with one of my beaded skull art pieces. The first time was also a memorial piece and a very special honor. Thank you Tzar and friend for trusting me with this.

If you have your own treasured animal skull, European, or shield mount, whatever the species, Leesa can craft it into a treasured one-of-a-kind artwork centerpiece for you. Contact her at Leesa@UntamedElegance.net or 616.422.2342.

Commissioned Beaded Skull: The Preacher

The Preacher - Beaded Whitetail Deer Skull Art
Commissioned Beaded Skull: The Preacher

This non-typical commissioned beaded skull art piece is named The Preacher. This deer came to me already named because of his large brow tines resembling praying hands. He is the last of a trio of whitetail bucks I have had the honor of reviving into beaded art, including The Boss and Stormy Knight.

The Clay Process

The Preacher had a few missing parts including a tooth and a large “bump” between his antlers which is not unusual with large deer. The tooth took a little time to reconstruct but all in all it was a pretty straight forward clay process.

The Beaded Art Design for The Preacher

Because this was the third skull in this commissioned trio, I wanted to bring in elements from The Boss and Stormy Knight yet still make The Preacher unique. So, I used The Boss’s dark chocolate paired with Stormy Knight’s deep reds. The focal points of the first two pieces incorporated large fan beads in different colors. As gold was also used in both of The Preacher’s companions, I wanted to make that central in this design. However, I could not find fan beads in color that suited this scheme so I switched it up creating the focal point with golden Swarovski Crystal teardrops framed in by round smokey quartz. I incorporated some of the same lines and shapes as with the first two pieces and from there let The Preacher do The Preacher’s thing with Riverstone and plenty of Swarovski bicone and flatback crystals. His “prayer hands” antlers definitely made things challenging at times but he was well forth it in the end.

It was a pleasure creating these three skull art pieces and hope I have an opportunity to coordinate pieces like this again in the future.

Beaded Skull: Stormy Knight

Commissioned beaded skull art piece: Stormy Knight
Beaded skull: Stormy Knight

Beaded skull: Stormy Knight is a large non-typical whitetail buck. He is the second in a trio of whitetail deer skulls I have been commissioned to revive with beaded skull art.

It took a while to find a name for him. The central beaded skull art design reminded me of a hurricane, so I knew Storm had to be part of it. I had wanted to do this type of spiral for some time and it suited is dimensions perfectly.

The Clay Process

This commissioned whitetail skull came to me missing much of his frontal bones. And after final cleaning the remaining nasal cartilage was completely unstable and much simply fell away. Therefore a lot of time was spent carefully reconstructing this area with wire and clay. This process was time consuming and complicated, as was the beaded skull art design I chose. However, he turned out to be the easiest whitetail deer skull to work with I have thus far encountered.

The Design for Beaded skull: Stormy Knight

I had been waiting for the right skull to do a spiral design on. The width of this whitetail’s skull suited this just right. I wanted to pull in some of the beaded art design elements from The Boss, it’s commissioned partner piece, to make this beaded skull compatible for display with that first piece. Because of that, this was again a much more symmetrical design than is my norm.

Where The Boss is chocolate and dark berry, Stormy Knight’s coloration suits his name using black and shades of ruby red. The round black onyx bead at the center and black onyx fan set encompassing the spirals emphasize the spiral pattern. Metallic faceted silver beads mimic streaks of lightening near the center while bright silver on the side edges evoke a “silver lining” after the storm. Black and dark red Swarovski bicone crystals are used generously throughout the design. And red flat back Swarovski’s bring a random flash of intense color. Oval Riverstone replace the Jasper used on the previous skull while some straight lines and diamond shapes were incorporated here to coordinate the two commissioned beaded art skulls.

I personally love a stormy night. Perhaps that’s why this skull, despite it’s dramatic features and detail oriented beaded skull art design, came together with no obstacles other than time. And I was very happy to do what it took to wait out this Stormy Knight.

If you have your own skull, European, or shield mount, whatever the species, Leesa can craft it into a treasured one-of-a-kind artwork centerpiece for you. Contact her at Leesa@UntamedElegance.net or 616.422.2342.

Commissioned Beaded Skull Art

The Boss is a commissioned beadeds skull art piece.

The Boss

The Boss, a commissioned whitetail beaded skull art piece.

The Boss is a large non-typical whitetail buck. He is the first in a trio of whitetail deer I have been commissioned to revive with beaded skull art.

He is the largest of the three and by far the longest whitetail deer skull I have had the honor of working with. And in the images below, you can see the large mass of bone between his antlers, which reminded me of a buffalo boss. For those two reasons he got his name as soon as he came to me.

The Clay Process

This skull required extra time in the clay process due to that “boss” and several other smaller areas like it, as well as large gaps in the skull structure. I actually had to enlist my husband to file down a bit of the area between the antlers because it was so high on one side, making him very lopsided. However, once the clay was complete, he became much more staple. Can you imagine carry so much extra weight on one side of your head?

The Beaded Skull Art Design

The intricacy of the design also added more time to complete this commissioned beaded skull art piece. My designs are not normally so symmetrical, because skulls are not symmetrical…plus I just love flowing lines. Therefore this type of design is more challenging. However the central design lead the way in the overall scheme and more symmetry felt right. Although the design was tricky and some hard-to-get-to areas around the antlers and back of the eyes were taxing, all in all, considering he is The Boss, he was otherwise quite cooperative.

The length of this skull allowed for an exceptionally large center piece, featuring 3 red carnelian fan sets along with red magma and mocca Swarovski bicone crystals. While gold seed beads give a touch of classy definition the brecciated Jasper brings together the dark berry, deep chocolate and bronze color scheme of this beaded skull design.

Red carnelian is said to represent self-confidence, fearlessness and courage. Although this gemstone was not chosen because of these qualities it certainly is a perfect fit for The Boss.

If you have your own skull, European, or shield mount, whatever the species, Leesa can craft it into a treasured one-of-a-kind artwork centerpiece for you. Contact her at Leesa@UntamedElegance.net or 616.422.2342.

Keepsake Beaded Skull Art

Devon's Legacy beaded deer skull art.

Devon’s Legacy

Devon's Legacy, a whitetail buck keepsake beaded skull art work.
Whitetail deer beaded skull artwork created in memory of Devon Kurzhals.

This is not a large whitetail deer however; he is a VERY important one. This buck is in memory of Devon Kurzhals who was a very loved young man who was taken from this world too soon. Therefore, it was my great honor to create this one-of-a-kind keepsake beaded skull art piece for this wonderful, loving family.

Devon liked aquatic colors and his Grandma Jean loves turquoise so blending the two together was the perfect solution for the entire family.

A gorgeous teardrop magnesite at the center of this flowing design lends its turquoise coloration and feel to the color scheme. Round magnesite beads circle the antler bases and arch through the design while round riverstones and other shades of blue bring in cool aquatic shades. Glass beads of brown and greens compliment both the blues and the center piece pulling the color scheme together.

I am grateful that Devon’s family allowed me to create a keepsake beaded skull art work from this small piece of Devon’s life thereby giving it a “new life”. I hope it brings happy memories to all of them for many, many years to come.

Continue reading about Devon’s Legacy on my Blog.

Scroll down to see images of the making of Devon’s Legacy.

If you have your own skull, European, or shield mount, whatever the species, Leesa can craft it into a treasured one-of-a-kind artwork centerpiece for you. Contact her at Leesa@UntamedElegance.net or 616.422.2342.

The Making of Devon’s Legacy, a keepsake whitetail deer beaded skull art piece.


Frozen In Time

Frozen In Time is a whitetail buck beaded skull art piece.
Frozen In Time is a whitetail buck beaded skull art piece.
“Frozen In Time” Whitetail Buck Beaded Skull Art Piece.

Frozen In Time is a strikingly elegant whitetail buck beaded skull artwork piece. He is a perfect refined addition for sporting and hunting art collections and wildlife decor. He features a faceted diamond shaped Prism, faux Pearls and Swarovski Crystals. The design for this buck was inspired by the White Doe in my personal collection due to reactions to her. I wanted to compliment not copy her. This is a beautiful example of how a male and female set can be commissioned by hunters.

About the Design

The design for this beaded skull artwork piece circles around and flows from the central Prism which shimmers above a silver metallic background. Teardrop and round faux pearls encircle this focal point forming lines and cascades throughout the scheme adding to the sense of elegance. Clear discs add depth and shape to much of the design as well as a glossy, reflective finish to the eyes. While the design as a whole is flowing, the sharp clustered straight-lines of clear Swarovski crystals add a dramatic flair. Black opaque and silver and black faceted beads add color and dramatic texture while white melons and smaller faux pearls create soft graceful flowing lines and drapes. Tiny glossy-white seed beads create sections that shimmer like ice and finally, light radiates off select crystal rhinestones, clear diamond confetti and sliver-lined Rocaille beads.

His antlers would have become very impressive as he aged but Mother Nature took this buck quite young. He emulates not just youth and beauty but the drama and complexity of life as a whole. That commotion and complexity that is ever present in our human existence, as well as the animal kingdom . He brings to mind memories we all have no matter our age. Flashes of instances that stand out for an array of reasons and linger with us like moments “frozen in time”.

Life is beautiful, joyful, dramatic, sad and complex. All along the way it leaves us with moments etched into our minds, “Frozen In Time”. They linger for a reason. May this buck be a reminder to embrace those memories whether pleasant or harsh, not just from our youth but all along life’s path. Learn from them, use them to better ourselves and help those around us.

Continue reading below to see the making of Frozen In Time.
Frozen In Time
$
1850
  • Dimensions:
    8.25″ w × 17.25″ l × 11.25″ h

The Making of Frozen In Time, a Whitetail Deer Beaded Skull Artwork Mount.

Cleaning

This whitetail buck required only a light soaking and scrubbing however one of the frontal bones still came lose. It did not actually break off so a soft hand and some Super Glue™ did the trick. His antlers, although slightly discolored were some of the whitest I’ve seen and much of the reason I choose him for this art project. I knew I would paint them in the end but starting off with the color scheme I’d envisioned for him was a plus in my mind.

Frozen In Time, skull art piece in the cleaning stage.
A light cleaning, a little glue and he’s ready for the next stage.

Clay/Paint

He started off in good shape, especially the teeth, with the usual seams, holes and rough patches on the skull and around the eyes. Nothing out of the ordinary there to smooth for beading. But I spent extra time building up around the antler bases to use beads to surround them rather than some other material. I also wanted to create a very stable place for the Prism to rest as well as create a slope so the surrounding beads were level at its edges and had a gentle descent into the major design. Those things added extra time in the CLAY process.

Unfortunately, I got ahead of myself and did not take a picture in clay before spraying the inside cavities gray, which always over sprays onto the skull surface so that picture looked terribly unattractive. My mistake. So, this pic is him after both clay and paint.

Whitetail buck skull art piece after the clay and paint stage.

Bead Selection and Beading

As the White Doe was my inspiration for this buck, my bead selection was based off the beads I’d used for her. I wanted him to be compatible with her style but still unique. Though they will not be sold as a pair I wanted to show how a male and female (of any species) could be commissioned together for a “His and Hers” extremely classy and elegant taxidermy alternative.

She has been likened to a diamond in the rough or a snowflake and, at the beginning I imagined he might bring to mind the same sorts of things, just in perhaps a more aggressive, masculine sense. Therefore, there were a few pluses and minuses made to the bead arrangement. However, as I worked with this young buck his personality began to show through, directing parts of the design I had not completely envisioned.

Of all the bead alterations I feel the elegant Swarovski Crystals make the most dramatic statement, their stark straight-line clusters adding a more dramatic feel.

He came together effortlessly; everything just fell into place. He was a complete delight to work with, other than the short periods working between his very tight rack which was an “angular” challenge.

Sealing

I have been wanting to try some sealant options and this white and clear bead design was the perfect opportunity to do so. I created a “test” skull and tried several products to look for any yellowing, discoloration or clouding. After a couple of weeks in a relatively sunny spot my choice was obvious. Taking the time to do the test was a wise decision and I am very happy with the result.

Bead selection and initial design for Frozen In Time, a whitetail deer skull mount.
Beads were selected to be compatible with White Doe in my collection.
Frozen In Time and White Doe, whitetail deer beaded skull artwork.
White Doe and Frozen In Time. An example of how a male and female, of any species can be commissioned as a matching beaded skull artwork set.

Naming

His name came about as his design progressed and working with him gave his own aspirations. Rather than diamonds and snowflakes like the White Doe, he presented something deeper. He spoke of desires, hopes, playfulness, recklessness as well as the stubbornness of youth.

As his design played out it seemed to represent recollections of life, like passing waves in time, or the many possible changes of direction life branches out into. That he was white and silver made the idea of being “frozen” jump out. Like those moments we cannot help but remember as if yesterday, he is “Frozen In Time”.

Frozen In Time, a beaded art whitetail deer skull mount.
Like those moments we cannot help but remember as if yesterday, he is “Frozen In Time”.

In memory of Devon Kurzhals

Whitetail buck to be beaded in Devon's honor.

This is not a large whitetail buck. However, he is a VERY important one. Not to just one person but to an entire family. And the most important beaded skull art piece I have ever had the privilege of creating.

Whitetail buck to be beaded in Devon's honor.

This buck is in memory of Devon Kurzhals. He was a very loved young man who was taken from this world too soon. His father and he were especially close hunting and fishing buddies. And this is the last deer Devon took on his grandparents’ property.

Only once before have I named a beaded skull art piece before I started working with it. But this is the first time one has been named before I had even held it. Before getting Devon’s buck from his father my husband and I were talking about Devon’s story and his family. And my husband thought of a name that made us both tear up. However, this is such a special situation I wanted to make sure his family would approve. When we met David, we asked what he thought of the name and I will never forget his smile.

This is “Devon’s Legacy”.

Getting started

To get started, as with every skull I work with Devon’s buck got a bath. However, there was just a bit of debris in some deep crevices. David did a great job taking good care of him.

He had lost a couple of teeth but David found some replacements in the “treasures” he keeps and glued them in before I got him. Nice job David!

There was very little to clean on the outside of his teeth. So it only took an hour or so to pick the debris out.

Devon's whitetail deer teeth before cleaning.
Before cleaning
Devon's whitetail deer's teeth after cleaning.
After cleaning

Ready to start the clay process!

Clay Work Process

Clay work is coming along nicely. I was happy the small bones in front were just loose and not missing. Therefore they secured in place very well.

Devon's deer before the clay process.
Before beginning the clay process.
Devon's whitetail buck after clay is finished on the right side.
After left side clay work.

The left side is finished save a few spots I will blend in as I work with the right. In this case it was necessary to use some clay below the antler base as there was a bit of cracking. And so I’ll do the same on the right side.

Finished with clay on the left side of this whitetail deer.
Left side clay finished.
Clay work started on the ight side of deer skull.
Right side started.

The cartilage in the eye sockets is always cracked as it is very delicate. Therefore it breaks easily meaning more clay work. However, Devon’s Legacy is gladly cooperating and nothing has broken. Strong young buck.

I’ll post more images when the clay process is complete.

Clay Update

Finished with clay! Well, almost. The center needs to be fitted to the focal bead when it arrives. I have already started “flattening” the area so it shouldn’t take much to complete.

I painted the inside cavities before finishing the underside clay. So, while waiting for the that to dry I worked on the antlers. To address the discoloration, since they were on the whiter side, I had originally thought to simply give them a white-wash. I started that process; however, it didn’t take long to change my mind. It would have taken more white than I liked to cover some blemishes and I kept thinking of the chosen color scheme. This was not going to work. So, I washed the white-wash off.

After Devon’s Legacy and I sat together for a while, I decided to start with a light tan and medium brown. That was better but still not quite right. So, I added a bit of deep brown and that was the ticket. Now his antlers will blend just right with the color scheme.

Next up, paint! Although I won’t be able to finish until final claying is done for the focal bead. But I can get started.

Whitetail buck beaded skull art piece; clay finished, antlers painted.
Clay finished and antlers painted

Final Clay/Paint/Focal Bead

So grateful the beads arrived with only a couple of days delay compared to “normal times”!

With the focal bead in hand I finished the clay work and painting as quickly as possible. Though still taking enough time to allow everything to dry properly.

Ready to start designing this layout!

Whitetail deer skull ready to begin the beading process.
Ready to start beading!

Bead Design

Before the beads arrived, I had several thoughts in my head for this design. But from experience I know things change depending on so many factors including the skulls’ dimensions, the size and shape of the focal and other beads selected and, most importantly the FEEL of the project.

I was so excited when they arrived because this color scheme is amazing! I started by laying them out side by side in different successions against the beautiful focal bead. And I found three colors I loved the balance of with it. Perfection!

Then I tried all kinds of layouts I’d had in my head before getting them. Why, I have no idea because in the end I came right back to the way I’d laid them out when I first got them. This is definitely a “heart” over “head” project! I’m listening now, Devon! Moving on to laying out the design on the skull. Doing this helps me envision how it sits on the skull and where other beads will fit in. And then the exciting part of this beaded skull art piece…the beading begins!

Initial bead layout
Initial bead layout

Beading Process

In this first image you can see how I start this process by placing the beads for the main design layout onto a temporary “pattern” on the skull. I don’t attempt to add all the beads here, just enough for me to get an idea how they will sit and where other beads will fit in according to their shape, size and/or color. Because it is a very rough visual representation of the design at this stage, it is difficult for others to see where I’m going with it. But in my mind, I see much more. Sometimes I have to put more beads on than other times to get the “vision” I need. This time it didn’t take much.

Main beaded skull art piece design layout.
Main bead design layout.

I was going to show an image of Devon’s deer with the design just to the point of the first image but changed my mind. I really wanted Devon’s family to see the main design as I “saw” it in my mind. The only thing that changed was I moved the line of tiny dark blue beads to the other side of the skull.

I still have a bit to do on the main design on the back and sides of the skull, though it wouldn’t be visible at this angle anyway. Then it’s on to all the details, which is the time-consuming part. So, Devon’s family, this is going to take a while. Please know I’ll be working diligently to get this precious skull back to you as quickly as possible. I’ll let you know just as soon as Devon’s Legacy is finished.

Beaded skull art initial design.
Initial main bead bead design for Devon’s Legacy is complete.

“Devon’s Legacy” is complete!

“Devon’s Legacy” is finally complete! And my husband and I had the great pleasure of delivery him safely back to David, Devon’s dad and Grandma Jean (Devon’s paternal grandmother).

Before saying anything else I want to say how much I appreciated the opportunity to meet in person Grandma Jean, who came wearing her signature turquoise. Love it! I SO wanted to hug her, but in the current circumstances that contact had to unfortunately be restrained. However, I got to see her face and smile and feel her energy and love for Devon. So thankful we met, Grandma Jean! Maybe we’ll still get to hug one day.

Devon's Grandma Jean and dad, David with "Devon's Legacy".
Grandma Jean and dad, David with “Devon’s Legacy”.


The image here does not do “Devon’s Legacy” justice and I am excited that professional photos by Byran Bosch (find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Photography-by-Bryan-Bosch-234421813426482 ) are on the way! Because of Devon’s and his family’s love of the outdoors, I had these photos taken outdoors in a woodland setting. As soon as I am able, I will create a page on my gallery with many of the images displayed here in the “The Making of Devon’s Legacy” section as well as the professional photos.

And that would normally be the end of this story…happy clients, happy life, right? But it was not the end for me.

Leesa with Devon's dad, David and "Devon's Legacy"
Leesa with David and “Devon’s Legacy”.

As we drove home after delivery “Devon’s Legacy” to his family the thought struck me that I would never see that deer again. My eyes suddenly welled up and startled, I shook off the thought. I’ve never had that thought or that feeling of sad separation before with any of my artwork. Later that evening it returned to me and I allowed the thought and feelings to linger. As a lump formed in my throat and tears came to my eyes something very profound struck me. It was not about the deer. It was about Devon. Whatever loss I felt, the small tears that I shed were but a literal drop in the bucket to the monsoon of tears this family has shed and the life constricting emotions they have felt for the loss of Devon.

Dear Devon’s family, I pray this small piece of Devon’s life, that you have given a “new life” to brings happy memories to you all for many, many years to come. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your and Devon’s journey here, and beyond.

Beaded Skull art piece, "Devon's Legacy".
“Devon’s Legacy” completed.

Grand Chaos

Grand Chaos, a whitetail buck beaded skull Steampunk deer art piece.

Grand Chaos is a fun and fascinating Steampunk beaded deer skull art piece. A copper color scheme, wires, tubes and gears in addition to leather inserts further his classic mechanical Steampunk vibe. With this genre in mind he sports a movable monocle covering a glass tube “eye” connected to gears by copper wires.

Brown leather surrounds the base of his antlers enhancing the “wild west” flare. Likewise aged copper inserts, hinges and a keyhole, as well as the classic skeleton key continue the Steampunk theme. His mechanisms are intricately designed from a combination of gear focals, tiny watch parts, screws and antique brass and copper plated beads.

Everything about this Steampunk beaded deer skull leaves to the imagination the purpose of each gear and how it all works.

Continue reading below to see the making of Grand Chaos.

I’ve dedicated this Steampunk beaded deer skull piece to Benj Spencer from Pixel Ink Frame as he suggested the Steampunk art idea while working on my logo and website.

I love Steampunk and immediately knew which deer skull in my current inventory I wanted to use. The fact that he is a smaller skull with a damaged tine and missing teeth made him just the sort of rogue I envisioned for this piece.

Benj is so creative and I had several insights working with this buck. I am grateful for the journey I have had with them both.

Leesa Clark with Benj Spencer from Pixel Ink Frame and Grand Chaos.

Grand Chaos
$
1850
  • Dimensions:
    10.5″ w × 17.5″ l × 10.5″ h

The Making of Grand Chaos, Steampunk Beaded Deer Skull

Cleaning

I have no pics of Grand Chaos prior to the clay stage due to the frantic pace this piece started with including the mid-holiday season, out-of-town family coming and preparing for my first photo shoot. In hindsight I should have already had a clue to his “name”. I wish I had taken pics of his initial rugged state.

Clay

The majority of clay work on this whitetail buck skull was nothing out of the ordinary, until it came to his underside. Although it will rarely be seen, it was so deteriorated and split it degraded the integrity of the entire piece. His left upper nasal bone was broken off but this is not unusual and I reattached it with glue and clay.

This is the clay process for Grand Chaos.

Paint

On this Steampunk deer I wanted to try a new copper sheeting as well as a different type of paint available in the perfect copper color. I mean, what could go wrong using two new elements in a time crunch? And also starting with a totally different focal point design? Initially the paint and copper did not agree with my glue at all. However, after some practice I did manage to get them to all play nicely together.

The paint process Grand Chaos.

Bead Selection

While all of the Steampunk mechanisms were important to this design the eye was the key. Specifically the mechanical connections and monocle were the true focal point of this piece. Starting the design around an eye rather than the center of the skull was also a new idea for me.

I had no time to physically layout the complicated design on the buck skull due to the photo shoot. Instead I started with the simpler design on the opposite eye. Indeed, everything about his beginning felt very chaotic. All the same, it all came together beautifully and was a lot of fun to create.

Initial bead design placement for Grand Chaos.

Beading

Although the beading design I’d envisioned was not complete, for several reasons I stopped and sent photos to Benj for the site.

However, having seen all my other pieces he questioned some things about this one. I had not finished my vision and it showed. And so I replied:

“Since it is so different than my other pieces I got off track early by rushing with new materials for the photo shoot and then asking too many people for their opinions. I always show them to people throughout the process but with this one I started listening to people rather than the deer. I plan to finish the design the way I had originally planned, unless the buck has other ideas. Thanks for getting me back on track with my own art.”

The continued beading process and naming of Grand Chaos, Steampunk buck skull art piece.
This is where Grand Chaos comes to “new life”. Every piece has a story to tell.


Naming

The remainder of the design and coloring his antlers fell right into place. All that was left was a name and for the first time I struggled with naming a piece. I even resorted to looking up Victorian era and Steampunk phrases. Nothing fit. In honor of Benj Spencer I considered naming him “Benjo”, Victorian sailor slang for “A riotous holiday”. But, even though the era and meaning were spot on, this whitetail deer didn’t strike me as a sailor.

And so I sat down with him, considering our chaotic journey together as well as how beautiful he’d turned out. And I realized his name had been right there the entire time: Grand Chaos!

The finished Steampunk whitetail deer skull bead design, painted antlers and art piece name.
A fitting name is better and takes time, but is well worth the effort.