May 2, 2017

Jean Schlumberger-Inspired Collar Neckace

I am often inspired by photos I come across of classic jewelry, namely ancient styles seen in Roman and Greek pieces. With this piece however, I was inspired by a photo I found (thank you Google) of a beautiful gold floral collar-like necklace by the great french jewelry artist Jean Schlumberger, who was known for his many designs for Tiffany's in the 50's and the following two decades.

Jean Schlumberger's Tulip necklace for Tiffany's. [Image found via Google.]

My necklace is quite obviously nowhere near as glorious as the inspiration necklace, but it was fun taking that inspiration and trying to turn it into something that fit within my design style. I confess: it didn't work. This necklace was a total failure. By that I mean this piece did not turn out anything like my original vision for it and I was really disappointed with the final outcome. That being said, failures are teachers too, and in trying to create this piece I learned things I wouldn't have if I hadn't attempted it. And while I'm happy to have learned a thing or two, this necklace will definitely go into the 'upcycle' pile to be taken apart and remade into something new. But before that happens I figured it was worth sharing here, even if it falls into the 'failure' category.

I began by creating some organic leaf forms out of heavy 16-gauge copper wire. I just used my pliers and fingers for these; no wire jig or pattern.

I then wire wrapped the leaves to a wire choker form, wrapping the entire choker wire for uniformity.

I knew I wanted to add beads to fill in the spaces between the leaves, but hadn't exactly figured out how to link them to the choker in a way in which they'd stay in place rather than sliding around between each leaf. So for the next step, which I didn't photograph as it ended up being a spontaneous solution, was to use jump rings to attach a length of chain all around the underside of the wire choker form from the first leaf to the last. You can see the chain in the photo below.

I had first planned to use only citrine and pyrite beads to keep a golden feel to the necklace, but soon realized I didn't have enough of them to fill in the necklace properly. I found some carnelian and dyed jade beads to the mix to keep a sunrise palette and strung them all onto ball headpins along with gold floral bead caps to give each bead a flowery feel.

I then attached all of the beads to the chain that ran along the underside of the choker, which had the result of the wire leaves laying on top of the beads, rather than the beads being the main focus.

I still wanted a bit more organic movement to imitate the way the inspiration necklace's tulips seems to fall down the collar and almost seem to be moving, so I added short lengths of gold chain along the necklace to hang down among the beads.

All in all I suppose this piece came together (physically) somewhat okay considering that I had little idea how to create what I wanted when I first started. If I attempt to remake this at some point I will invest in more citrine and pyrite beads and keep the color palette strictly golden, rather than reusing the carnelian and dyed jade (red) beads. I will also not use a pre-made wire choker form (I'm generally not a fan of chokers, and I don't like how close this piece sits to the throat), and I'm already exploring a way to make a flexible chain of wire leaves instead. So check back down the road if you're interested in seeing the 2.0 version. In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the 'failed' version:

What do you think, yay or nay? How would you make this necklace better/different? I'd love to know.

Possibly linking up with:

Fabulous Party at Lou Lou Girls
Show and Tell Link Party at Flamingo Toes
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello


  1. I think that its super gorgeous (Duh!) and more Greek than the Tiffany necklace as the color palette lends a old world charm to it

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Divya! I really do like this color palette, it just wasn't what I had originally pictured for this necklace and thus was a (regrettable to me) last-minute decision. I do like that the deep reds and oranges have an old-world feel to them!

  2. I love this piece! The different textures between the leaves/beads/chain really speak to me. This color pallet is beautiful and I really like the extra detail of the wire wrapped beads on some of the leaves. I'm not a big fan of the choker forms either. They feel very confining to me. I can't wait to see a remake!

    Angi Mullis


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