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