When I first read the details of the FEB ABS challenge at Artbeadscene, I was so excited for the inspiration was right up my alley. It was a rich painting with flowers aka scattered rose petals, fluttering flags, a beautifully decorated white horse, and gleaming golden accents. I was so attracted to the image, that every time I went to their blog to read a post, I would spend a few minutes gazing at the picture. Strangely enough, I never once read the description of the painting mentioned in the post. I’ll tell you why this is important in a minute.
Choosing beads & components
I created a few new components that I could use. A stamped brass heart colored in pink, A paper flower connector and altered an art bead gifted to me by Lori Schneider by accenting the edges with gold paint. I wanted to use freshwater pearls, dutone crystals with both shiny as well as matt finish and some matt semi precious beads like rose quartz or aventurine. With various ideas but I was a little unsure of how to put them all together to create a piece.
What was the inspiration once again?
Ultimately, when I started writing this post I went back to the inspiration post and actually read it this time. Keep in mind that I still hadn’t started making a piece at this point. It talked about a triumphant English medieval prince gazing up at Christ’s crown of thorns as he was crucified. I was surprised for where was the second crown and more importantly where was Christ in that image? Only then, I saw the black portion towards the right end. Jesus Christ! (literally), so much for my observation skills. This new understanding further confused me – “How am I going to include Christ or Thorns or any religious philosophy in my design?” and just like that, all my previous ideas were thrown out.
Our Inspiration – Two crowns by Sir Frank Dicksee
Roses and thorns ideation & realisation
Coming at this painting from a philosophical angle I realized how when looking at a successful person we see only see bright, shiny things that make us envious. We seldom see their pain, suffering they endure or their sacrifice to create or retain their success. Nonetheless, it that pain and suffering that is underneath all the shining glory – it is the thorn that supports and protects a rose.
This realisation gave me an idea for the necklace. While retaining the beads and the rose connector I looped them together asymmetrically. I made a thorn wreath out of copper wire and patinaed it dark (almost black). Then, I used more wire to set Lori’s pink and gold cab in the bezel. I call my design – Roses and thorns on two of the most impactful components in my piece. You can see the bright rose, the blingly crystals and the gold streaks at a glace, but it is the wire wreath that holds up and supports the piece.
Barb wire style Thorn wreath setting
I originally made the wreath in barb wire style with bits of wire sticking out like thorns. But it was impractical even when the tips were burred, so I tucked them in. The Roses and thorns necklace does not have the same look now but it is easier to wear. I did not use as much gold as I would have liked to use. However, I think that it makes sense as my interpretation is more about the message of the painting than the painting itself. It is about looking past the superficial beauty towards real glory.
So that was my FEBABS 2017 journey. I am happy that I finally went beyond “looking” and saw the painting with both my eyes and brain. Do tell me in the comments about what you see in the painting and if my design makes sense to you.
PS: Thanks to Erin (Prais – Hintz) for writing a fabulous introduction to this necklace on the Artbeadscene blog for the Perfect pairings feature. I couldn’t have described the necklace any better..” In order to truly see the light you need the dark. In order to appreciate the beauty of the rose you need to respect the thorn.”
PSS: Thanks to Tari of Clay buttons for picking my entry as the winner of this challenge. Yay!!
I hope you found it interesting