Thursday 30 April 2015

Art Bead Scene April Inspiration Challenge

The ABS blog inspiration for the April challenge was this self-portrait by Frida Kahlo, painted after her divorce from Diego Rivera and the end of her affair with photographer Nickolas Muray. The painting depicts Kahlo wearing a white dress with a monkey on her right shoulder and a cat on her left, wearing a necklace made of thorns and a dead hummingbird. The thorns dig into Kahlo's skin, making her bleed.

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940
By Frida Kahlo
Oil on Canvas, 61.25 cm × 47 cm (24.11 in × 18.5 in)
Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

I was fascinated by the many symbolic images in this painting. I was drawn to the brightness of the leaves in the background, but also to the imagery of the thorns.

At the end of March my bid was the winning bid for several auctions of ceramic spike beads made by Joan Miller. A new(ish) Facebook page, Ceramic Art Bead Market, is hosted by a group of talented art bead makers and is available for anyone to join as a buyer, and for approved sellers to offer their products for auction.

Some of the ceramic spikes were used for this necklace.

Necklace for Frida

 The greenish cast to some of the spikes, along with the random and different embellishments seemed perfect for this challenge. I used copper wire, with a steel blue coating that looks black, for all of the wire elements, from the vaguely heart like squiggle the spikes hang from to the hook clasp and loop and the smaller wire wrapped around the ribbons. The loops that hold the pendant piece on the necklace, and that make up the clasp, have wire wrapped around them for another interpretation of the thorns.

Because I wanted to bring some more brightness to the overall look I decided to use Cotton Batik ribbons, in green and earthy orange, along with a green organza ribbon. They were lightly woven together to make the softest feel around the neck.

I struggled with the final result, not quite happy with how the pendant portion hangs off of the ribbons, but decided to post it here anyway. I’ll wait a bit before making any further decisions.

Now please check out what everyone else made here.

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