Saturday, December 20, 2008

Crystalline Creations...

Art Bead Scene's challenge theme this month is, "Puttin' on the glitz."  When I think of "glitz" I tend to think about Swarovski Crystals.  Below are a couple of designs that I've made.  Some are older, some were reworked from older pieces, and some are completely new.  

The name, "jonquil" refers to a type of daffodil that only blooms in spring.  Rites of Spring utilizes both this cool, crisp color and its symbolism.  Clasping in the front, this asymmetrical mix of jonquil, peridot, and a rich selection of greens was created in honor of the first buds and tender branches of season.  Inspired by nature, I wanted to create a ballet of Crystalized - Swarovski Elements that would playfully dance around the wear's neck, while paying homage to the season and it's abundant fertility.

The last rays of the sun streamed through the window, announcing in scarlet its departure.  I looked out unto the sea of sand and sky, thinking of snatches of epic poetry.  Homer  described it as his wine-dark sea.  But he was talking about waves.  I looked out on desert, but couldn't break this image.  Instead of the currents of the ocean, I studied the shifts in the dunes in the fading light –  undulating like Homer's sea traveled by heroes and gods.  I created this multi-strand necklace to capture that particular light.

 


Frida Kalho was a Mexican Surrealist painter, who's tragic personal narratives are vibrantly infused with traditional Mexican motifs and allegorical symbolism.  One of her most famous paintings is called the Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.  I was inspired by her life, her work, and this painting.  The challenge was to translate all of this into a piece that would do the artist justice, but stand alone on its own merits.  I created this organic and asymmetrical multi-stranded necklace, blending striking coppers, shimmering golds, and pretty pinks that are  punctuated by earthy browns.


I once watched a documentary on the flight of birds.  At one point, they tried to boil down exactly how birds flew into scientific equations.  The numbers and symbols moved in fluid lines and mathematical streams of text, becoming beautiful lacy patterns.  I attempted to recreate this feeling with a cascade of compounded wire-wrapped links, weaving the air around the wearer's neck.  The bright red punctuates the flow of crystal clears, opalescent translucence and shimmering silvers.  Like the equations, this necklace demonstrates the hard work and graceful beauty of learning to fly.

6 comments:

Round Rabbit said...

Gorgeous - all of them! I am going to work on my challenge piece today and trust me, even though I adore glitz it is a true challenge for me to make glitz. :)

Lorelei said...

Glitz is tough for me too. Don't have a single crystal bead in my stash!
Andrew, you don't seem to have any problems with the glitz. They are stunning!

Erin said...

I have to admit I'm not a glitzy girl myself either but I can appreciate beauty in any form. These designs are absolutely beautiful!

Andrew Thornton said...

You know, I used to have a problem with really sparkly projects as well. I think the turning point came when I started mixing them in and contrasting the other materials. I found that there was a real richness. These ones of course were designed with a different purpose in mind... to be overwhelmingly glitzy and sparkletastic. I kept having problems photographing the Frida necklace... I kept getting blinded!

jeweledrabbit said...

Stunning work, as usual.

Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks!