Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Tribal Root Necklace...

I had originally made the base of the Tribal Root Necklace as a component for a faux branch coral mobile.  Branch coral was often hung as a protective talisman for children and women.  CLICK HERE to see an example in the painting, "Madonna della Vittoria" by Andrea Mantegna.

The pieces were made of wire armatures with polymer clay layered on top.  Each component was primed several times.  Even though I liked them and I still like the idea of the mobile, the pieces have been sitting around the studio for some time now.  I decided to pick up one of the components and transform it into a necklace.  I abandoned the coral coloring and went more tribal with earthy browns and antiqued golds.  I added the new color-scheme by dry-brushing on the paint and then doing several washes and layers.  After everything was dry, I used a satin-finish sealant.  I liked the idea of the spirals and arabesques, so I continued the motif throughout the focal with copper wire embellishments.  The wire is decorative and gives it an additional "rooty" layer, kind of like the tree roots growing over the stone temples of Angkor Wat.

To turn the centerpiece into a necklace, I flanked it with flexible beading wire strung with carved wood beads, coconut heishi and antique metal mala beads.  To pull it all together, I used a shibuichi toggle from my family at Green Girl Studios.  I love the warm, rich color of shibuichi.  I think it goes well with the copper elements and the umber washes.

From each tip of of the "roots" I hung wire-wrapped dangles strung with simple-cut tourmalated quartz nuggets.  They've got such a raw feel to them, but create dramatic points of light.

This piece is a little bit different than my regular work, but I like it.  It was satisfying to bring together a lot of different techniques and elements and make a cohesive statement piece.


Here Bead Dragons said...

Beautiful - definitely tribal and yet very rich colors at the same time. I really like the color of the roots.


Kathy Van Kleeck said...

seriously yummy!