I am a big fan of Niky sayers. I love how she domes coins and sets stones in them turning them into wonderful charms, clasps and keepsakes. Naturally, I was delighted when I was chosen as one of the draw winners to participate in this month’s Art Elements challenge. I was sent a little “Hare” clasp that was made by Niky and I used it to make a Pearl Necklace.
The Hare Clasp
Using animals on coins is an ancient practice. Kings (and kingdoms) often used their crests, symbols, or totems of their favourite God or Godesses on their currency. While the former two were to establish a branding presence of the nation, the latter was to please the Gods for a prosperous nation. The Vijayanagara gold coins with the Boar or Varaha symbol, led to wealth ( and in turn money) in South India being referred to “Katti Varahan” in those days. Even now during weddings when gifts of cash (typically in multiples of 1000) are being given to the Uncle or the priests, you can hear the priests announcing “aayiram katti varahan sambavanai” – Remuneration of 1000 gold coins (meaning 1000 Rupees in paper bills, ofcourse these days).
Hares and Rabbits that come under “LEPORIDAE” are associated with cleverness, swiftness and fertility. Hence they can be found on coins of many countries. Niky has used, what I found to be an Irish threepence coin. It has the image of the hare on the reverse by artist Percy Metcalfe and the Irish Harp on the obverse.
COM reveal – Pearl Necklace
I had bought dyed baroque style pearls many years back with a hope of making it into a classy necklace for me. I had fallen in love with the greens, grays, blacks, browns, and yellows on the pearls but I could never find a clasp to match it. Also whatever style I strung it in, I didn’t like it. So every now and then I would attempt a design with it and put it back unfinished. That is until now.
Even before Niky’s hare clasp arrived I had decided that I wanted to use it in the Pearl necklace. The clasp was silver and copper that picked up two of the colours from the pearls. So I decided to add Gold seed beads and crimp tubes to match the warm yellowish glow of the pearls. I strung them all together and made a simple short Pearl necklace.
Art bead Scene November challenge
However, I was not satisfied and started to look for more inspiration. I came across the Art Bead scene Challenge ebook that I had downloaded at the beginning of the year. The Inspiration for November was the Bouchardon Mill Crozant by Armand Guillaumin. He was an impressionist painter who painted landscapes with intense colours. His association with artists Paul Cezanne and Camille Pissaro is well known. I personally find a lot of purples, greens and orangish browns in his work.
This particular painting is from his series on the Crozant village. Now known as the valley of painters or Vallée des Peintres the Creuse valley is said to changed dramatically in the early to mid 1900’s under the influence of the Creuse river. Armand Guillaumin is said to have painted over 140 landscapes of this village and the valley.
Opposite the pink the Bouchardon Mill where the purple trees grow
I could think of a story based on the above sub heading. However, I was at a loss when it came to making jewelry based on it. Since I was stuck, I decided to use the Additive Innovation Mindset and build on what others have created before me for the same inspiration (Do read this paper on Additive Innovation if you are interested) to come up with a new design.
I realised that I was drawn to the purple trees bushes in this picture (I love anything that looks fluffy and bushy). Also, the inspiration beads by Tesori Trovati, Mary Harding and Humblebeads shown in the e-book were foliage inspired. Hence I decided to make my focal a purple beaded tree.
Iterative loop – Quick prototyping with interesting corrections
I put my design in an iterative loop method of creative problem solving After playing around with various purple beads, I made a wire tree with a purple triangle bead and swarovski pearls to show the heaviness of hte trees in the picture. Also, I wanted to be able to wear the pearls by themselves without the pendant. So I changed the design of the pendant. I twisted the wires of the tree and creates a spiral at the end with a loose loop in between. This makes the pendant detachable from the necklace. I only need to wrap the spiral on the wire after putting it on the necklace to create a bail. Yay! I might not be really durable but knowing me, I know that I will change the design after wearing it 2-3 times.
That’s brings me to the end of this combined challenge post. Please do tell me in the comments, how do you feel about my piece and its variation. Here is the lowdown
Inspiration: The Bouchardon Mill
Colours used: Dark green, brown, purple, red violet, bronze and silver
Beads: Baroque style pearls, swarovski pearls
Art components: Clasp – Niky Sayers, Focal bead – Soul Silver
Click on each of the below links to find out what the other guest designers and AE team members have made using the clasp.
Art Element Team
PS: Happy Halloween folks!!
I hope you found it interesting