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Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday's Muse - Inspiration from a Mythical Monster

  On Mondays, ClockQuirkians, we're going to talk about inspiration.  I get inspiration from a lot of places, some of them from other artists, some from nature, some from books and movies I enjoy (occasionally even from books and movies I didn't particularly enjoy) and some just from random thoughts wandering through my head when I'm bored.  Today I'm going to share how finding a fantastic focal piece inspired a collaborative work of art.


It all started when Mom (Bonnie) found this really cool pendant of a kraken.  Her sister, my aunt, was shopping with her and fell in love with it.  So, being the artiste that she is, Mom told her she would use it to make a really cool necklace for her upcoming birthday.  No problem, right?  We're artists, after all.  We have a creative business (I love being able to say that).  We talked about it and had some really great ideas.  So all we had to do is take those great ideas and whip up a beautiful, unique necklace for my fabulous aunt's birthday, right?

It was slightly more complicated than that.

Cool, huh?


Let's start with the great ideas.  I suggested that I crochet a mesh pattern to hang behind the pendant and bring in sort of a fishnet motif.  Mom took it a step further and found these great flower toggles that could look like water plants and would gather the fishnet on either side.
She also found a beautiful assortment of Swarovski crystals (my favorite kind) in oceany colors that coordinated perfectly with our focal piece.  It seemed like we were off and running.

The first problem came with getting the mesh right.  I tried smaller squares, bigger squares, diagonal squares and straight squares.  I just couldn't get it to quite look like what was in my head.  The drape and gather were all wrong.  I kept experimenting with that while Bonnie broached the next problem.

The kraken pendant was very heavy.  We knew that we wanted the necklace to lay a certain way and the weight of our focal point made that problematic.  We made the chain shorter and shorter and when that didn't work, we decided to try supporting it with wire.  At first we tried threading the wire through the chain, but that seemed to create more problems than it solved.  Finally we hit on running the wire through the net and only attaching the chain at the toggles.  This worked much better.

I wove the beads into my fishnet first one way and then another way and while it was clear that the beads were going to look great, the fishnet just didn't.  I consulted my favorite crochet book, on older volume on needlework, and found the Solomon's Knot mesh.  I've used it before in a set of  bellydance-type costume accessories, but I hadn't thought to use it here.  It did just the trick.  The drape was right, the beads were right, and the kraken pendant looked great.  Voila!!  Just in time for my aunt's birthday.


Ta da!  You'll notice we still hadn't learned our lesson yet about taking pictures of our one-of-a-kind pieces.  Oh well.  Maybe my aunt will model for us one day!

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