August 8, 2015

Egyptian-Inspired Chain Bib Necklace

I know this piece is a little different style than the necklaces I've been creating lately. So how did it come about? Well, I tend to take/save photos quite often of jewelry pieces, art, and even architectural scenes that I like or that inspire me. I take inspiration from them for color schemes, shapes, designs, layouts, etc., and then try to turn those ideas into something that fits more into my own style and preferred media. This necklace design came from one of those saved photos.

The piece that inspired me was not a wire-based necklace, but it was similar in layout--it was an Egyptian necklace that had several large green stones in a vertical setting as the main focal element, and then several strands of strung pearls radiating out from the green stones. I loved the vertical focal element with the layered strands and used that inspiration in creating this necklace.

I wanted a little more variety of color in my piece and was itching to showcase these beautiful large, faceted purple agate beads, so I took color inspiration from this sketch and this sketch by the talented artist Megan Wells (I'm inspired by her Instagram feed daily!). I really loved the mix of purples, earthy green, and pale yellow.

I used a mix of dark purple faceted agate, bright and pale lavender quartzite, green aventurine, faceted lemon quartz teardrops (scattered throughout the bib chains), glass pearls, and crystals. My original plan was to incorporate a little more green into the mix--I have some beautiful amazonite beads I really wanted to throw in--but it just didn't end up that way. But I still like it!

 The focal element is actually made up of three separate wire pieces that I wrapped together, similar to the way I combined the focal elements in the Caribbean Seas necklace.

Quick process pic: (clockwise from top left) Creating the wire shapes;
wrapping them together into one element; visualizing color schemes;

(Close-up of the finished focal element)

Of course I used my favorite German copper wire in the antique bronze color!

I used German copper wire in the copper color for all of the scads of handmade chain. Oh my goodness, making all that chain took forever.

The side connector elements are handmade as usual, this time in antique bronze wire. I had some gold chain already made (I'd originally planned on alternating it with the copper chains in the bib, but it ended up looking too stripey) that I used for around the back of the necklace, but I think I might change it out to copper; as much as I love mixing lots of metals, there's no gold anywhere else on the necklace and I'm not sure it really fits in.

The clasp is the only machine-made element on this piece. I used a simple copper-colored toggle clasp, but might change it out for one of my favorite bronze flower toggles if I change the attached gold chain to copper. Because I just can't have two connecting metals match, of course.

I love the exotic look and feel of this necklace. It took about three times longer than my usual pieces because of the amount of handmade chain used and all the finagling to get the layers draped just right. But in the end, I think it was worth it. I'm not sure I'll be making another though!

As usual, because it's made entirely of lightweight (but durable!) wire, this necklace is incredibly light and not at all bulky or unwieldy. Perfect for dressing up a simple graphic tee for a boho look or accessorizing a little black dress for that evening out on the town.

What do you think, are you a fan of chain bib necklaces? Where do you find your creative inspiration? How would you wear this necklace?

I'd love to know!


Linking up with:

Show and Tell Link Party at Flamingo Toes
Worthwhile Wednesday at Crafty Allie
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Friday Finds at Minted Strawberry
Link Party Palooza at I Heart Naptime
The Creative Corner at Curly Crafty Mom

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