Friday, March 1, 2013

Quinevere- Necklace

Quinevere Necklace made from dried plant material. Philadelphia Flower Show- by Mimi Favre 2013. 

Again this year I have made a piece of jewelry from dried plant material for the Philadelphia Flower Show. Keeping to the British show theme, "Brilliant", this Artistic Jewelry Class is called, “Quinevere”- Necklace. That is all the direction one is given. The challenge is to interpret the theme (points for that) as well as make a well-crafted piece that ‘looks’ as if it could be worn (lot's of points). Sounds easy, but every time I make one of these pieces I totally underestimate how much time it will take and work to the last possible minute. 

After reading a bit about the legendary Queen, I settled on a period piece that would reflect femininity and her Christian beliefs. A friend saw the components before I finished and said “it looks just like your jewelry!" I really love this piece and would welcome a chance to make it in real gold with a beautiful ruby!

The creative process is a combination of finding interesting organic plant material by shape or texture and thinking of ways it could be used. Collecting is an ongoing process and I do have several boxes of potential seed pods, nuts, leaves, stems, berries, etc. The spice cabinet or pantry aren't off limits either- I used mustard seeds and lentils on this necklace.

I was walking outside one windy day a few weeks ago and picked up a dried cluster of hydrangeas that had blown over from my neighbors house. I had been thinking of making a thick chain and cross and this was the inspiration I needed to flesh out the design. The petals as stations on the chain are a classic form in the decorative arts known as a quatrefoil which was used in the Medieval period. I added the holly berry 'pearls' to visually break the chain and make this a strong yet feminine piece, something a Queen might wear. 
Updated- read how to on PHS Online
Components. Birch twig links, hydrangea Quatrefoil.
I made the cross, a very linear component, from verbena bonariensis (thank you Wendy). The links are made from green birch twigs, twisted onto chopsticks, left to dry, then cut into jump rings. Each one has to be glued closed. 
Quinevere Necklace- Cross and Quatrefoil.

Quinevere Necklace- verbena stem (squares), birch twig (links), holly berry 'pearls'. Mimi Favre. 2013

I was cleaning up the inevitable mess that I had made, a pile of discarded pieces, trial painted seeds, 'stone' settings not used, extra 'pearls' and thought, well, this picture says it all! I do paint ideas out first even thought the piece evolves organically.
Dried plant materials for Jewelry.

Quinevere Necklace. Hydrangea, beautyberry, verbena stems, holly berry, lentils and coriander.
Not shown, coffe bean (ruby).

Description card. MFavre 2013.