So, last Fall I put away my jewelry tools and took a break from jewelry-making for awhile. There are a couple of jewelry-making blogs I continued to follow though, including Divya's blog Jewels of Sayuri. A couple of months back I was perusing her latest blog post and learned about an upcoming beading challenge put on by the Facebook group 'Bead Peeps'. As the winner of a previous competition, she was in charge of hosting the next one and deciding upon the contest's theme.
Now I'm not much of a Facebook user, and while I do have a personal FB profile, I keep it deactivated for the most part and rarely use it. So on that note, when I saw Divya's initial contest theme post was for a FB challenge I didn't really pay it much heed. But gosh darn it, the visual appeal of the geometry in the 'Kolam' theme Divya had chosen and the inspiration photos and color schemes had already hijacked my creative brain, and before the end of a week my mind was swimming with design ideas. I have for most of my life been mesmerized by the beauty and stunning colors of Indian jewelry and fashion, and the opportunity to create a piece of jewelry influenced by them was just too good for my brain to let go! So what's a color-obsessed, creative gal to do?? Of course I pulled out my jewelry tools and got to work.
|The Kolam inspiration images and color scheme for the challenge.|
The theme Divya decided upon was 'Kolam', an Indian art form she explains in this post and this post. She gave us two color schemes to choose between and several inspiration photos to put our creative gears into motion. I was very nervous about the idea of entering a real, live artistic competition at first, but in the end the entry process was not too difficult; other than submitting a photo of our creation before the deadline we were asked simply to give some background info on our entry, including the color scheme we chose and the idea behind the piece. The contest ended up having 12 total entries, and most of the entries had a lovely depth of meaning and philosophy behind their designs and profound titles like 'Harmony' and 'Understanding' and 'Happiness'...a little intimidating for a casual jewelry-maker like myself. I don't create jewelry as a means of expressing my deeper philosophies--I just really love creating things that are pretty and pleasing to the eye. Rarely does a piece I create have any deeper artistic meaning than just aesthetic and personal style, so I felt REALLY out of place with my loud, colorful entry titled 'Bombay Dreaming' that was more about visually reinterpreting the bright color and linear patterns of kolams than the philosophic ideas behind them.
I didn't win anything and didn't expect to--this spectacular, AMAZING piece by Kelly Hosford Patterson took first place (and deservedly so!)--but it was SO GREAT to finally feel some creative inspiration again. I loved making this piece and couldn't put my tools down once I began! So without further ado, here's the scoop on my contest entry 'Bombay Dreaming'.
To me the geometric designs of kolam art just screamed for some wire work, and I answered with the large handmade wire scroll elements in the bottom layer.
I also hand-made all of the wire chain links in the top and middle layers, though the thin bronze chain in between each of the beaded layers was store-bought. I also made the bronze wire connectors that connected all of the layers of chain at the back of the necklace. All of the wire elements were created with 20-gauge German copper wire.
I went with a simple clasp to keep the focus on the front of the necklace, but used more handmade wire chain links to connect the clasp to the bronze wire connector elements.
My favorite jewelry trends right now are lots of layering, chains, mixed metals and beautiful beads, and I think those elements are pretty obvious here with the five strands of chains in a mix of gold, silver, and bronze German copper wire, bronze chain, and the gorgeous bevy of glass pearls, fuchsia agate, yellow chalcedony, green aventurine, and turquoise quartzite beads.
I also love the pairing of the evenly spaced colored beads with the unevenly spaced pearl dangles (bunched at the bottom but gradually spaced farther apart moving up the chain--I like to think of it as spacial ombre). Maybe I'm just really into pairing opposites in my jewelry right now? Gold and silver and bronze. Simple white pearls next to bright colored beads. Large handmade wire work chain links paired with thin, fine chain. I guess opposites really do attract?
All in all I'm completely, totally, and absolutely in love with this necklace. Every time I look at it I feel like I'm transported to India! I've only been able to wear it once so far (to church), and I'm eagerly awaiting my next 'dress up' opportunity so I can wear it again! It's such a fun, colorful necklace, and perfect for spring and summer.
What jewelry trends are you loving right now? Do you enjoy the bright colors of India? I'd love to know.
Linking up with:
Show and Tell Link Party at Flamingo Toes
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Friday Finds at Minted Strawberry
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello
Motivational Monday at Curly Crafty Mom