Thursday, October 06, 2016

Inspired by Reading: September 2016...

If you didn't know, Allegory Gallery hosts a monthly book club called Inspired by Reading.  The concept is simple.  Each year, we select a list of books and assign a book for each month.  Participants are encouraged to read the book and then make something that was inspired by what they read.  Members can make anything they want!  Most of us are jewelry makers, so a lot of the projects usually have a wearable art aspect to them.  For the current list of books, CLICK HERE.

For September, we read "This Census-Taker" by China Miéville.  The book centers around a young boy running from his troubles and the stranger who comes to town that is the census taker.  It had a very grim, haunting vibe.  I found the rhythm of the language to be almost hypnotic with a poetic quality, leading the reader to feel as though they are experiencing a modern fairy tale.  At the meeting, the book was met with mixed reviews.  Some said that they found the book "woefully depressing" and "ignored all the good parts" and others said that they thought it was "lovingly gothic".  I was on the fence, but I am curious about this author and will probably read other of his books.

In the book, there's a town scene with a vendor who has animals in glass jars.  One of them is a lizard and the boy receives it as a gift.  I didn't have any lizard bones laying around, so I opted to make some out of polymer.  

I put the polymer clay bones in a tiny glass jar with a tiny bronze key and hammered out a bail and soft soldered a top on.  The bottle was simply hung from a decorative sterling silver chain.
Here's a close-up of the focal.  In the book, the glass was green and I made another version where I stained the inside of the glass with alcohol inks, but it got so dark in the bottle that you couldn't really see the bones rattling around.  So I picked a clear one.  I sprayed a little (paint) water in the jar before sealing it up to give it a slightly murky vibe.

I was inspired to make another project!  Part of the story takes place in a little town and from all the descriptions, it seemed like a rather dreary place.  So I made some gray polymer clay house beads and strung them together to create a town scene.  For the base of the necklace, I used tumbled marble nuggets, because most of the other part of the book occurs in a rocky cave.  I also included a key because one of the characters is a key maker.  I actually quite like this piece!  If I made any adjustments, I'd probably make it a wee bit shorter, so that it falls right on the collarbone.

To see all the other delightful creations inspired by "This Census-Taker", CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook page for the book club.  Up next for October is "Vampires in the Lemon Grove: And Other Stories" by Karen Russell.


Sarajo Wentling said...

Wow! Love both your pieces! The lizard bones are creepy and fun but that house necklace is stunning.

beadgirl said...

I love the necklaces! And if you are going to read more of Miéville's works, I highly recommend "The City and the City"; it's amazing.

Shai Williams said...

I am on the fence about the first necklace but I love the second. It's eye catching and would go with anything.

Ann Schroeder said...

I love these necklaces! I couldn't get into this book, but I loved The City & The City by the same author, and will try others.

Marie D'Onofrio said...

Wow -- great necklaces, Andrew! Both so perfectly capture the book. I especially love the jar of bones, and the way you fashioned its lid!