Monday, April 25, 2011

Washi Paper Pendant with Amazonite Beads

This is a necklace I finished last weekend. The main cab is another one of those washi paper-polymer-clay-resin cabs I made a while ago. I loved the pattern of the paper, but wasn't sure what to team it with as the colours were rather bright. Anyhow, my birthday was a couple of months ago, and as my Mum was sick and in hospital at the time, we didn't celebrate or do anything at all. Then a few weeks ago I got an email from a local gemstone retailer that they're having a store wide 50% discount, so I thought I'd ask my husband to buy me some gemmies as birthday present. Went there last week and had a FANTABULOUS time. Amongst the things I bought were these gorgeous amazonite rhondelles (the large pale blue ones in the photos), and immediately, I thought of my washi paper cab. Added some seed beads, turquoise coloured howlite and Czech firepolished beads, brass stampings, and chains.

I wanted the necklace to have an antique Oriental feel, like something that might have been worn by a young woman from a wealthy family in Beijing, whose father worked as an advisor to the Emperor in the Ching Dynasty (me day-dreaming away here...). One day, the Emperor's advisor was invited to attend a state function at the palace, and he took his wife and beautiful daughter with him. Whilst the men were waiting for the Emperor in the main hall, the ladies were led to meet and pay their respect to the queen and the numerous concubines in the royal garden of the Forbidden City. On their way there, they bumped into the Emperor's procession, and they immediately knelt down and bowed their heads. Being young and curious, the girl lifted her head ever so slightly to catch a glimpse of the Emperor, who was in his fifties. Their eyes met, and the Emperor was instantly mesmerised by her beauty. A few days later, the Emperor sent a Royal summon to the advisor's home, for the girl to be admitted into the palace to be a concubine. Unbeknown to her parents, the girl had already given her heart to a young scholar who worked for her father. To disobey the Emperor's order, however, would mean death not just to herself but her whole extended family, all those who shared the same surname. She was utterly broken hearted but had no choice. The night before she was taken to the palace, she wrote a letter to the love of her life, explaining that she had to sacrifice herself for the sake of her family, but her love towards him would never end. She gave the letter to her maid, together with her favourite necklace, and asked her to smuggle them out of her guarded home and give them to the young scholar. "Tell him" she said to the maid, "to put this necklace close to his heart. As long as it's with him, I'll know that his love for me has not died. In our next life, and many more lives to come, I'll search for the necklace, and I'll find him wherever he is in the whole world. It's a symbol of our ever lasting love......."

The necklace is actually longer but I tucked it up at the back for photo purpose. Hope you like. Again, please click on the photos if you'd like a larger view.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Mixed Media Lady Brooch named Miriam

I was asked recently by a customer at our fundraiser if I made brooches, and it daunted on me that I very seldom did. Anyhow, thought I would do some, and this is one I just finished yesterday. The main cabochon is again one of my mixed media art deco lady cabs which I painted on a white polymer clay base, added bits and pieces, then covered with resin. I just love making these cabs and have a little collection of them, so there'll probably be more of them coming in different names and forms. (Hope you're not sick of them by now.) The brass leaf was aged with Gilder's pastes. Miriam actually has shimmering golden eyeshadow (I used a little Twinkling H2O water colours) but I couldn't capture that in the photos. Hope you like her.