This "Rhapsody in Blue" beaded clarinet is the work of Mary Ellen Merrigan of Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

Beaded Clarinet a Rhapsody in Blue

The clarinet arrived with a note on the outside of the box: “Clarinet 3 pieces. You can create with or without assembling the whole.”

Not once did I focus on what “broken” could mean for the project. Nor did I put all four pieces together. In search of inspiration, I googled images on the Internet. There was very little and no beaded clarinets. When I searched “famous clarinet music,” I read that nearly every major composer wrote some music for the clarinet. “Rhapsody in Blue” struck a chord.

George Gershwin’s classic blared in the studio as I pulled supplies together, beaded little mirrors and polished my clarinet pieces. I envisioned a hybrid presentation: a seed bead mosaic using little mirrors hand beaded with a sapphire blue mix.

As always with an experiment, challenges arose. When I mixed the batch of epoxie on scheduled day one of my assemblage, I realized I had white not black product. Ooops! I experimented on altoid tins to see how the product worked and ordered a replacement color.

These altoids are the beaded clarinet experiment's predecessor by Mary Ellen Merrigan of Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

©2016, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beaded Clarinet beginning experiments

Like many projects, it took longer, was messier and required far more beads than I’d estimated. I strung bead after bead of smalls in varying shades and finishes of blue.

This is the top and bottom of the beaded clarinet by Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

©2016, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beaded Clarinet top and bottom

The sleek lines of the instrument gained elegance and light. Using lollipop sticks and a putty knife, I sculpted around the clarinet’s finger-holes. Blue rice pearls added elegance. Piece by piece a regal instrument morphed into view. For whimsy, I added a painted face to each segment. Seven beaded mirrors showed on the bottom piece, then five, then three and finally, one.

These four pieces make the beaded clarinet by Mary Ellen Merrigan of Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

©2016, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beaded Clarinet – four pieces

Although my random acts of beading may elicit unusual solicitations, few could be as satisfying as Rhapsody in Blue, my first foray into mosaic beading.

clarinet

Art for a Cause

Presedence Music Academy , a community music business based in Montrose, CO will hold a gala event to benefit the oganization in November. My clarinet will be instrumental (pardon the pun) in the silent auction that provides scholarship for others to support the gift of music.