Art Jewelry by Francesca Watson

Late to the party….

… as usual.

But seriously, between the house stuff and running Roadhouse and teaching a bunch (a whole bunch!), I am having a heck of a time getting all my to-do’s crossed off the list. That means that I am two days late finishing my Art Jewelry Elements component challenge piece, taking photos, and getting it posted.

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This month (or, technically, last month) the wonderful Susan Kennedy of SueBeads gave us these very pretty glass cabochons to work with. She was also offering some cool bead sets, but I almost always ask to be surprised so I don’t know what’s coming. I got a sweet lavender cab with the snowflake/flower pattern shown in the dark blue cab above, and I knew right away I wanted to do a prong-set pendant. My problem was that until today, I didn’t have more than 20 minutes at a stretch to focus on putting it together and my first attempt was a dismal failure. (No photos – I destroyed the evidence!)

But today, I was able to sit down and really pay attention to what I was doing – and I’m really pleased with how it came out.

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The color of this cab reminds me of the lilacs that bloom each spring in Rochester, New York, where I grew up. Down the block from our house was a very romantic-look, European styled stucco home that boasted a huge courtyard, and around the open sides grew enormous lilac bushes. When they weren’t flowering, they looked like something out of a Grimm’s fairy tale – gnarly and a little scary. But come spring, they would erupt into masses and masses of the most fragrant lavender-colored blooms, and I’d make any excuse to walk that way so I could revel in them. (I was something of a romantic as a girl!) I wanted this piece to evoke the rustic feeling of the bushes in their everyday state, the elegance and romance of the house, and the lush, opulent blooms.

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I heavily distressed the sterling silver disc for the pendant’s backplate, and then made a pinch bail textured to look like tree bark. The prongs (hopefully) let the cab shine and play up the contrast between the sleekness of the glass and the rustic feel of the metal. I used a simple chain and two wrapped stations with a little bling (rock crystal and vintage cut glass beads) to represent the elegance and simplicity of the house, and finished it off with a plain hand-made hook clasp. I plan to add an extender so that the necklace can be adjusted, but I don’t have the right chain at the moment – when it comes in, I’ll add a short length and finish it off with a rock crystal bead so it hangs properly in the back.

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Thank you, Sue, for the wonderful cab and the opportunity to take this walk down memory lane! If you haven’t already, check out what the other AJE ladies did with Sue’s wonderful components.

(P.S. If you love art jewelry, and you want a chance to win a free component as part of the Art Jewelry Elements monthly challenge, check out what Linda Landig has for us in June!)

4 replies
  1. Ann Schroeder
    Ann Schroeder says:

    This is really a beautiful necklace. It totally looks like your description of the lavender and lilacs around that stucco house. I could picture a beautiful, romantic stucco house I have always admired in my parents’ neighborhood. If I lived there, I’d be wearing this necklace!

    Reply

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