This second piece in the Hallowed Ground series had me at first completely confused as to how I would make something good looking that was mostly plain sand, to creating one of the most enjoyable textures I’ve yet made.
The unfamiliar shape of the sawfish at first had me wondering if it would seem so recognisable as the frog, even as an animal at all. So many reference pictures were scoured for, and the palette of sea greens and blues chosen.
A whole hemisphere of this sacred circle would be substrate, so many beads of various ‘sand’ hues were collected, and then I mixed a palette growing darker as the horizon line was reached. Each bead was stitched down with machine cotton, individually.
As with the previous piece, I used these buttonhole-stitched jumprings to suggest small corals in the sand.
Using a mostly translucent bead mix ‘base’, as I progressed I added more creamy and yellowish tones.
Some beads also were stacked to give height, some patches of sequins and french knots, and even these little detached buttonhole bar ‘sandworms’ draw the eye to discover this habitat.
Finally after several weeks of work, the silty sandy sawfish’s substrate home was complete.
‘Bubbly’ sequins used to suggest water currents.
The large tooth sawfish is one of the rarest fish in the world, and a living dinosaur, existing for 60 million years at least. Degradation of their preferred habitat of shallow coastal estuaries has removed them from 95% of their historical range. The sawfish has suffered a population decline of 80% since the ‘60s.
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