Monday, 25 February 2013

Sleeping Beauty Bead Embroidered Necklace

What comes first, the beads or the inspiration? Well, often for me it’s a beautiful cabochon that has ideas for jewellery jostling for attention in my head. In this case my muse took me on a walk through tangled foliage and  briar roses, and we ended up at the castle where Sleeping Beauty lies, about to be woken by the kiss of her Prince. I did a very quick sketch of what I have in mind and pulled out some beads and crystals, including some pretty Swarovski flowers, for possible inclusion.

I knew at once that this necklace should be quite Art Nouveau/Arts and Crafts in its mood, with lots of rich russet colours in it, with hints of green. A fluid shape will be a challenge to create. I think that a needlefelted base will be best to bead on as I can make the twining stems much better than I could by using flat Lacy’s Stiff Stuff. I tried needle felting once before and enjoyed the process, you use a fine, sharp, barbed needle to mesh natural fibres together to create shapes. These are very tough and just right for beading onto. This technique is so appropriate, because the Princess in the Sleeping Beauty fairytale wanders off to a tower, where she finds an old lady weaving wool fibres on a spindle. Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger and falls asleep for 100 years. Now I need to find a way to incorporate the kiss into my piece. A heart element might do the trick, either a bead, or a heart shaped clasp - I'll let the piece itself dictate as it develops.

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