Wednesday 31 July 2013

Brit Pack Beaders - Challenge 3 Reveal

Oil on canvas, dated 1870, 109.2 x 90.5cm, Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections
Welcome to another Brit Pack Beader's design challenge reveal which, as you may recall required us to create jewellery inspired by this painting chosen by Bo Hulley. The painting depicts Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris posed as Mariana from Shakespeare's 'Measure For Measure' a women deserted by her betrothed (click link on picture for more information).

And this is what we had to work with in addition to items from our own bead stashes...

The thing that struck me about this painting is how dominant the  rich and sumptuous textiles are in the composition and I wanted to try an evoke something of this in my design. I decided on a necklace using the focal bead and started with one of Diane Turton's 'Raggy Ribbons' which matched perfectly with the deep brick reds. The ribbon is quite wide and when threaded through a heavy Vintaj chain it gave a lovely shaggy effect.

 I wired the focal and then created a chain with the bronze rings I contributed to the challenge (plus some extras since I was fortunate enough to have some!) and more of the Vintaj chain. I added a length of finer chain to the focal and hung the bronze charm from this. At this point it became a question of how much more I embellished the necklace. I wanted to keep the symmetry so I couldn't work the clasp in other than at the back which seemed a waste so I used a simple hook with another of the bronze rings. I did play around with more dangles to the front but I'm a 'less is more' kind of person so in the end I settled for just two blue drops to highlight the focal. It does have something of a chain of office about it but I think I like it none-the-less...see what you think.

So then - how to use the clasp...? I decided this would work well in a bracelet with some of my favourite rustic pearls which bring to mind the lovely soft skin tones of the painting. I used Rebecca's blue waxed linen to string the pearls and interspersed them with tiny faceted red beads and the lovely gold lampwork beads Jo included with her accent beads. To counterbalance the clasp I also added a gorgeous lampwork bead by Helen Chalmers in the same blue with dots of cream and brick red. I finished the piece with two little red glass beads and one of my blue bronze hearts - she has just been jilted after all. I do really like this - I don't think I would normally have thought to put these colours together and simple as it is I think it works well.

So now you've seen how 'Mariana' inspired me I hope you'll pop over to the other blogs and see what the rest of the team created...

See you for the next challenge at the end of the year.



  1. As ever it's fabulous Lesley, I love the bracelet especially (and I'm not bias just because of THOSE pearls) Well done :) Claire x

  2. Wonderful pieces! I love the bracelet.

  3. Beautiful pieces. I just love the bracelet with all those wonder colors. What a fun challenge.

  4. Beautiful! All the texture in the necklace is lovely, and the bracelet is simply gorgeous!

  5. Lovely stuff, Lesley - so nice for you to be able to include all that scrummy bronze in that fab necklace!

  6. Both pieces are beautiful! I love the shaggy, lush look of the ribbon threaded through the chain.

  7. Gorgeous, Lesley! The necklace in particular is a knock out!

  8. Oh my, that necklace is sensational!


Don't be shy - join in with the gossip...