Sunday, December 13, 2009


I made this necklace a while ago for a competition "Australian Designer of the Year Awards 2007" organised by Beads etc... magazine, and it came first in the wire work category. The piece was designed around a couple of gorgeous labradorite cabochons I had, which I teamed up with chalcedony and labradorite beads, Swarovski crystal stones and beads, and small sterling silver beads. The components were wrapped using sterling silver wire. The pendant depicts the carriage Cinderella rides in. In Chinese, Cinderella is known as "The Grey Lady", hence the blue-grey colour scheme. The piece looks much prettier in real life with all the sparkly crystals and silver, and the labradorite cabs have beautiful flashes of blue. It's hard to capture the colours in the photos.


This is a necklace I finished today for this week's Year of Jewellery Challenge on the Australian Beading Forum, the theme of which is "Geisha". I've only just come back 3 days ago from overseas and have tons of washing and housework to catch up on, but I could not resist making a piece, as this theme has brought back some fond memories.

I've been to Japan twice, and on both occasions we saw Geisha performances. The first time was in a small private dinner tour with just my husband and I, our tour guide, and a Geisha and her maiko. It happened to be our first wedding anniversary that day, and the whole experience was magical. When I came home after the trip, I was obsessed with Geisha for a while and bought all the books I could find on Geisha. The second time I was holidaying with my husband and parents, and we saw a stage performance. When I think of Geisha, I think of cherry blossoms, Sakura, its scent and colours, its petals falling down in slow motion, and a Geisha holding a paper umbrella walking beneath the trees towards the setting sun.

I got the pattern of the cherry blossom petals from a Japanese beading book by Kumiko Mizuno, and it was done in brick stitch. Made up some leaves using similar techniques, and assembled the whole piece with pearls, cloisonne beads and Swarovski crystals. The pendant is detachable and has a brooch pin attached to its back, so it can be worn as a brooch as well. I would've liked to make a few more blossoms but ran out of time (the closing date for this challenge is today). You can click on the picture for a larger view. I hope you like it as much as I have enjoyed making it.