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August Monthly Challenge

Twelve Princesses on the Way to the Dance
Kay Nieslen
Published in 1923
Watercolor and ink
This month we are delving into the realms of fairy tales and dreams with Danish illustrator Kay Nielsen. Influenced by the theater, the design of the Art Nouveau movement and woodcuts from China and Japan, his stylized illustrations were popular during the Golden Age of Illustration.
Which direction will your jewelry take this month? Will you pull from the opulent patterns of the dresses? Play with silk ribbon and floral beads inspired by the Princesses? Will you explore the repetitive elements of the tall trees using wire or gather beads mimicking the branches and leaves cascading down from the forest canopy? Will you mix the dark tones of black and grey with the pastel tones of peach, coral, lavender, greens and warm cream hues? So many directions to go, I can’t wait to see what you create!
What is the Monthly Challenge?
Every month we challenge our readers to create jewelry inspired by the featured artwork. You have until the end of the month to share your work and then we pick two winners to receive beads and jewelry-making supplies from our sponsors. Our only rule? You must use at least one art bead in your piece!
About the Art & Artist:
Kay Nielsen was commissioned to illustrate Twelve Dancing Princesses and Other Fairy Tales, written by Author Quiller-Couch. It was one of these illustrations that is our featured artwork for this month.
His work was mainly watercolor and pen, focused on detailed and stylized design. His most celebrated illustrations where for the book East of the Sun and West of the Moon. 
Nielsen’s work has a theatrical quality. No doubt influenced by his parents, who were well-known Danish actors, and his work on designing sets for theater productions during WWI. In his later life he moved to Hollywood and worked for Walt Disney, most notably on Fantasia.  
Born in 1886 in Copenhagen, he was tutored at home after the age of 12 and then taught art at a traditional academy. While living in London in 1912 his illustration career took off with a series of book commissions. He illustrated tales by Hans Andersen, the Brother’s Grimm and Arabian Nights. After his work for Disney in 1941, he returned to Denmark. Unfortunately publication tastes had changed and Nielsen’s work was no longer in fashion. He lived in poverty in his later years. His work is now celebrated as one of the pillars during the Golden Age of Illustration. 

Important Changes Happening this Month!


We are process of creating a new home for the Art Bead Scene and it will be finished next week! Don’t worry, you’ll be able to find us at ArtBeadSceneStudio.com now and always.
The best thing about our new website will be our reader gallery where you can directly upload your entry this month to our site! We’ll post directions and details as soon as the new site is revealed. 
We will no longer do the monthly recap since you’ll share your photo and links directly here on our new gallery. 
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How to Enter the Monthly Jewelry Challenge:

Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

An Art Bead must be used in your piece to qualify for the monthly challenge.

Upload your photo to our new photo gallery (details coming next week!) Please add the tag or title AUG ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is August 31st.
You may upload two entries per month.


***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply added to wire or cord will not be accepted.***

Entries for Bead Artists

Art beads must be created by you and fit the Art Bead Scene’s monthly challenge theme. They can be made for the challenge or ones you have made before. Two entries per month are allowed. 

One entry will be picked by the editors each month for a free month of advertising on the Art Bead Scene. Bead entries have to be pinned by the 30th of the month.

Monthly Challenge Winners


• Two prize winner will be selected at random from all pictures posted in our new gallery! 

• Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on September 1st.

Perfect Pairings: Designer + Art Bead Artist


• Perfect Pairings focus on both the jewelry designer and the art bead artist. 

• Be sure to point out all the art bead artists in your work in the description of the photos when you upload to the new gallery. Links to their website or shop are appreciated. That way we can all find new art beads to love!
• From all the entries during the month, an editor will pick their favorite design to be featured on Friday here on the ABS, so get those entries in soon.

What is an Art Bead?


An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.

Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

Join us tomorrow to see our prizes and sponsors for August! 

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