Three Worlds

This month’s Art Bead Scene challenge featured one of my favorite artists, M.C. Escher, and his 1955 lithograph, Three Worlds.

From the Art Bead Scene: Three Worlds depicts a large pool or lake during the autumn or winter months, the title referring to the three visible perspectives in the picture: the surface of the water on which leaves float, the world above the surface, observable by the water's reflection of the forest, and the world below the surface, observable in the large fish swimming just below the water's surface.
My design began to take shape when I spotted a large (2 ½”) sterling silver fish pendant from Luanne Keen’s Eton Street shop on Etsy. Perfect to portray the world below the surface!

I created a large teardrop shape in matte black and steel delicas to frame Luanne’s focal. A second teardrop, inset with a peyote pattern of fish scales in the lithograph’s many shades of gray, nests inside the first and shimmers through the cutouts in the fish.
A single silver leaf floats in a peyote and herringbone frame, depicting the surface, and a Taina Hartman white bronze woodland pendant represents the forest. Adding luster and contrast to the matte elements, a handmade pearl chain brings in the picture's pure black and white.

I had so much fun with this challenge! Take a minute to click over to the Art Bead Scene Flickr group to see the amazing range of designs based on Escher’s work.


Vintage brooch as front and center focal

I love this brooch, which was a birthday present (and the first gift of jewelry my husband ever gave me) 25 years ago.  According to this recent post by Andrew Thornton, that makes it vintage! I wore it all the time in the late-‘80’s, at the center of a buttoned-up collar, but must admit that it has languished in my jewelry box for the last 20 years. Until this week, when I was looking for a focal for an Alchemy of Objects class challenge.
My first thought was to remove the clasp and drill holes in the side petals to attach the neckstrap. I was debating the best place to drill to achieve just the right balance, when it occurred to me that I could keep the pin back attached. The brooch is concave, and the clasp would not interfere with it lying flat as a focal. I particularly liked this option because it allowed me to create some fringe to echo and accent the gray stamen in the brooch.
Faceted quartz, bali silver, chyrsocolla rondelles, and herringbone sections adapted from a Carol Wilcox Wells design in  Beadwork (April/May2011)
Pin back detail: Square-stitched loops connect the neckstrap to the brooch; fringe cascades from removable peyote-stitched tube.

The upside of retaining the pin back: the integrity of my brooch wasn’t compromised (I’m an absolute novice with a drill!) and my necklace is now convertible. It can be worn without the fringe, which can easily be slipped off its pin. Also, the brooch itself is completely detachable – it will be jacket season soon, and, when it's not enjoying its second life as a necklace,  it can still be used as a pretty, single accessory to punch up a black blazer.


Ears To You Blog Hop

Amy Freeland of Copper Diem is hosting a blog hop today to benefit Ears To You, a very special jewelry donation program for women undergoing chemotherapy.

Ruth Crane founded Ears To You after undergoing chemotherapy herself, and finding that she felt more attractive, more "normal" when she was able to accessorize. “I started Ears To You to help other women deal with hair loss and provide a way for them to feel good about themselves at a time when life can seem uncertain and scary.” Thanks to Amy for pointing me to this thoughtful organization - I am so happy to be included in this effort to send a bit of support and encouragement to these women during a challenging time.

There are dozens of artists participating in today's hop. You'l want to check out the work of each and every one:

Copper Diem
My Addictions
Beads, Tea and Sweets
Juls Beads
Fabric of my Life
Blogging Business Artisans
Jeannie's Blog
Lorelei's Blog
One Kiss Creations
Backstory Beads
According to Katie
Cherish Designs
Beads: Rolling Downhill
Falling Into The Sky
Garden Path Beads
Antiquity Travelers
Sissy and Jacks
Erin Siegel Jewelry/Art Bead Scene
Northwood Creative Studio
SilverRose Designs
Dreamin of Beads/SAS Jewelry Design
Cabe Woman
Summers Studio
Honey from the Bee
Shaiha's Ramblings
Mama's Got to Doodle
Beads for Busy Gals
Tanya McGuire
Creative Atelier