Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shadow Box Challenge and Blog Hop...

Lorelei Eurto teamed up with Sara from C Koop Beads to generously host a contest. Lorelei randomly selected 23 participants to create a piece using one of Sara's enameled shadow boxes. With everything that has transpired since then, it feels like a hundred years have passed. I was tempted to forfeit, as I have been ridiculously busy with the preparations for Allegory Gallery (opening in less than a week), but decided to take a creative break and work on my challenge piece.

I am smitten with reliquaries. There's something magical about the ornateness and the how it is a container for something within. The moment I saw the boxes in Tucson when Sara debuted them, I knew I wanted to create something along those lines.

The necklace is composed of a mix of lustrous freshwater pearls, vintage Japanese glass pearls, a bronze clasp from my family at Green Girl Studios, a bronze key also from my family, the enameled shadow box from C Koop, chain from Ornamentea, and copper embellishments that I made myself.

My original plans of using the key as a design element was altered when I scooped up everything and moved everything into the other room. The key had found its way in the box and it looked so perfect there. The gold-tones of the bronze perfectly contrasted with the rich blue of the enamel. I knew that I wanted make as much of the enamel visible as possible and using the key was a great way not to obscure the background and to really showcase the negative space.

I embedded the key, like a sacred treasure, beneath a layer of resin, keeping it safe... forever.

Originally I was going to frame the box in some gemstone chips. But after I did so, it looked too busy. Instead, I used copper chain. It provides a nice contrasting line to frame the piece and a bit of a texture, but not too much to distract.

The vintage pearls have been burning a hole in my collection for years. I love them. They have an opulent feeling to them and an interesting provenance. They're over half a century old and were made during the occupation of Japan, and signal the recovery of a war-torn society and the rebuilding of a nation.

Interested in seeing what the others created? Swing by Lorelei's blog and take a few moments and have a look at what the other 22 contest winners made:

27 comments:

Lorelei Eurto said...

It turned out lovely! Love all of the little details, and the pearls really make the piece! I am so glad you found a few moments to finish it, thank you so much!
(your links aren't live, you might want to copy and paste them again from my post)

Feel free to also upload your pics to the flickr group I created for the participants.
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1740275@N20/

Alice said...

Andrew, it's simply gorgeous! It looks like a relic just recently unearthed--one that holds an important key to he past. Outstanding job!!!

FryeStyle said...

Your piece does look sacred! The real deal! It appeals to me, especially hearing your narrative. Each component looks thoughtfully selected, bearing what it would bring to the whole design. It looks expertly crafted. I like!

Cindy Cima said...

I absolutely adore this!!

Majid Ali said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Therese's Treasures said...

I really like it Andrew, it is very Elizabethian.
Therese

Malin de Koning said...

I love it! I immediately thought of holy, and religous when I saw the pictures. And then after reading your text ... So glad you took a break to do this. It is so beautiful and magic and inspiring. Every detail is perfect. The chain, the blue-blue-blue color, the mitra-like embellishments (the pope's hat you know), the key which also has a sort of eye shape there at the top, "the all-seeing eye". And the pearls, beautiful.

Thanks!

BooBeads said...

That key really does work so well in there!

Beautiful piece!

fanciful devices said...

The ornamental metal you added to the top and bottom of the box totally make it. The box is so shiny/modern and those elements are so ancient/rustic. Really beautiful, intriguing design.

Heather Wynn Millican said...

sweet friend, You have been in my thoughts as of late and I am wishing you grand success with the opening of your storefront. I am so excited for you and I am SO impressed that you found time to create this gorgeous masterpiece. I LOVE that you framed the shadow box with chain. The piece is so decadent and I imagine a lovely maiden wearing it(preferably in a gladiator film starring Russell Crowe) LOVE it!! Quite possibly my favorite :)

Gem Rose said...

Absolutely beautiful, Andrew. Of course I knew it would be coming from your incredibly creative soul!
LOVE IT!

Suzette said...

Cool design! Very creative!

SilverNikNats said...

A completely stunning necklace I love what you have done, it looks like it has always been!

Maria said...

This piece is amazing! Love the colors together. Copper is so warming. And LOVE the pearls...L.O.V.E

P.S. Thank you for the nice words about my beads.

Kreativkrapylet said...

Oh! I love this piece! I love what you've done around the box. It has kind of a royal feeling to it. :)

Jenny said...

Well you know this is my favorite! ( Sorry people, but I build ceramic shrines, I am biased.) The blue glows under the resin. Can I ask - how are the bronze pieces attached to the box? So glad you did not forfeit! Gash darn it!

stacilouise said...

I think you really did a wonderful job of bringing your idea to life. You went so beyond just filling the box!

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I love the copper accent pieces you made! Your necklace looks very regal. I love the key under the resin. I almost used resin and then decided I didn't need to. I would love another box to try resin in :) You did a fantastic job with your design! P.s. It was great to meet you at Bead Fest, and I hope we have more time to hang out next time!!

Shirley said...

Between your copper accent pieces, the rich decadence of the blue, and the vintage pearls, it just oozes history. So glad you got to take some time for the challenge. Wishing you the very best on the launch of the gallery.

sara said...

I am speechless. This piece is just stunning! The old pearls really bring it together!

Shel said...

This is amazing! I love how it flows together, looking timeless and beautiful.

Steph said...

Wow, stunning! It really is a treasure. I love the key in the resin...it really is a treasure.

Genea said...

I love it! It looks like a sacred key to a mystical place trapped inside a necklace for safe keeping. xo Genea

steufel said...

That is amazing. LOVE the romantic feel it has. So delicate - and the wohl time I look at it, it screams - key to my heart. Love that.

Shay Stone said...

Very wonderful Andrew! I love the style and feel that you created. It's very emotion evoking. Nice :) I too, am glad you found the time to play.

Shaiha said...

Beautiful! I love the way it gives off a feeling of formality and age while being totally wearable.

Cece said...

Wonderful creation. Easy on the eyes.