Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Necklace that toyed itself into existence

My latest creative pursuit is a necklace that started with one of those ugly beads. It was elongated, and a drab shade of orangey-rusty-brown. Really an ugly thing. Lately, however, I have been looking at this sort of thing as a challenge to create something that exonerates it and makes it beautiful in its own way. To begin, the bead was added to a rosary type link and wire wrapped, continuing the wrapping to spiral about the bead. In the spiraling I added small orange seed beads to help hide it. It looked better, but what do you do with one rather large ugly bead wrapped with wire and decorated with seed beads. OK, being me, I made it the focal point. In my last necklace, the bead was the focal, but this time, the bead didn't carry enough design interest to make on its own. I set it aside, and was just playing with wire, created a triangular spiral that waved off at the end. ...Had no idea what to do with that either! Somehow, ...maybe they bumped together, and the idea of using them together began taking shape. Hanging off the lower edge of the triangle, the forming pendant was somewhat interesting, but was lacking still. The focus really needed to go to something else.

Rocks. I love rocks. A few weeks back, I had found a small egg-shaped river stone that was in the garden
path in my backyard. It was a stone that just told me that it was meant to be more than a part of the path, going unnoticed and anonymous. At the very least it would have been happy as a worry stone, residing in a pocket and caressed occasionally, connecting the bearer with a sense of Mother Earth and grounding. The desperate mind will try anything, and so the river stone found a new place to rest. Wrapping it was a little challenging because there were no dents or corners to hold the wrapping wire, but after playing around with it I finally came up with a satisfying result. The pendant was looking very primitive and somehow talisman-like.

Next, I searched through the diminishing supply of ugly beads to find the drabbest, dingy gray rounds I could find. They needed to look earthy and natural. Adding those and a few more primitive wire links, it began to feel important. However, it needed more prestige. How about some verdigris? Just like the beard of an old man, it got more credible in age. A homemade recipe, I used:
  • 2 parts white vinegar
  • 1 part non-sudsy ammonia
  • 1/2 part non-iodized salt

Put these ingredients into a spray bottle and mist the piece. The chemical reaction starts very quickly. Spray a few more times. Remove the piece to a paper towel and allow to dry and sit overnight. The "rusting" process will continue, and the next day you can see the results. Mine were a bit too green, moving the necklace into a different color range, so I washed it and rubbed some of it off. Once dry, I was able to move into adding the fiber part to the neck. Now, the Talisman came together quickly, and this is the result....

Mother Earth's Talisman Necklace


  1. This lovely necklace has a sort of a tribal look, very earthy and nature-orientated, very appealing and precious. Beautiful.

  2. Thank you Laura. It's so satisfying to create something and express these sorts of inspirations. Isn't it interesting that we can create a work of art to do this, but expressing these feelings vocally or writing them out is often not acceptable?

  3. How beautiful, Mardi! I am in total awe.