Friday, January 30, 2009

Challenge - Irises by Vincent Van Gogh


This month the folks over at the Art Bead Scene came up with a real honey of a challenge. The inspiration was Vincent Van Gogh's painting Irises. I was so thrilled by this challenge that I took nearly all freaking month to think about it. I have been building this necklace in my mind for weeks now and only began putting the pieces that I made together yesterday.

I decided to really push myself to think way outside the box on this piece. My goal was to take only the most essential elements of the painting and still be able to convey the overall feeling in a simple and abstracted version in the form of a necklace.

I broke the painting down into two elements - Color and Texture. Color is the most obvious and would be the main way of making the connection between the original painting and my wearable version. I started with two triangles of porcelain which I glazed in layers of deep purple and clear. The clear glaze created some wonderful visual texture by pooling and creating cells of mottled color. When looking at Van Gogh's painting I was drawn to the single white iris and the few other touches of white that are place here and there - I was thrilled when I found those same points of light had occurred in my glazed pieces.

The focal 'bead', if you will, is a piece of copper which I etched with a beautiful iris design (thanks to Dani for digging through her immense rubber stamp collection and finding this perfect stamp!). I really love how this piece looks! It provides the most literal reference to the original painting while also providing the warm color of the copper and the texture of the etching which echos Van Gogh's bold brush strokes that clearly delineate random leaves and petals.

Two beautiful lampwork beads by Jennifer Jennings of Blue Seraphim give a much need spark of amber/yellow. For some reason I am particularly fond of the stack of copper jump rings I added above the beads. Probably because they hide a rather sloppy wire wrapping job and were a quick and effective fix. ;)

Another favorite little touch is this bead ball toggle thingy. The idea for this type of closure came to me at 4 this morning. I awoke with the idea in my head and knew I had to finish the necklace this way. It works perfectly and the large green bead helps to balance the colors and design. It is attached to a copper link chain which I patinated a gorgeous blue/green, giving the necklace yet another layer of color and texture.


I love the back almost as much as the front! :)

13 comments:

Lorelei said...

This piece is even more amazing that the last ABS challenge submission you did. WOW. I am speechless!
I think this is fabulous.
Was the etching hard to do?

Round Rabbit said...

Thanks so much, L! Etching is a total blast and very easy. It is also very addicting. I have been etching everything I can get my hands on!
Stephanie Lee's book Semiprecious Salvage (WONDERFUL BOOK!!!) has very easy instructions on how to do it. There is also a great tutorial in the Winter 2009 issue of Belle Armoire mag by Kris Plimpton.

Round Rabbit said...

I should clarify that it is in Belle Armoire JEWELRY magazine.

Lorelei said...

I do have that book. That process looked intimidating to me but I'll have to read through.
There are probably scary chemicals involved??

Round Rabbit said...

You use Ferric Chloride - it really isn't that scary. I just put the container out in my laundry room while it is etching. There are very little fumes but it is a good idea to use in a well ventilated area. And you don't want to get it on your skin.

High Desert Diva said...

I love what you've done with this piece. But I must see it on a neck! How does it lay?

Doreen said...

Oooooh! I like this alot! I would love to see it worn to see how it lays. Really gorgeous! Oh, I just saw that High Desert Diva made the same request! That's two of us now.

juwelen said...

very lovely and so unique! you have indeed captured the essence of the painting with this necklace! great work!

Good Dirt Jewelry said...

Wow! This piece is stunning!

2ifbysea said...

This piece is outstanding, Nancy! I love the ethced portion of it...

SarahKelley said...

Fab, fab, fab, fab, fab!

Jennifer Cameron said...

Gorgeous! I love how you explained the process you went through to achieve your design and the way you thought outside the box.

ArcadianDreams said...

That is lovely and inspired. :)