Saturday, December 27, 2014

ABS Monthly Challenge: Dec. 2014 Cathedral Arches in Polymer

It may be hard to imagine how a painting of a nearly empty building could inspire in so many ways.   But when I first saw the latest piece of art for the monthly Art Bead Scene challenge, I was immediately drawn in!   It's no ordinary "empty hallway."  It's a painting of an amazing piece of architecture, full of history, with interesting shapes, and many variations on the color gray!

Some of you know, I used to frequently participate in the ABS monthly challenges, but have taken a self-imposed break from blog hops for a while.  Then I saw this, and couldn't stay away!

Choir of Sint-Bavokerk, Haarlem" 1635
by Pieter Jansz Saenedam
Read more about this painting on the ABS page.

Once I saw the photo, I couldn't get it out of my head!  It reminded me of some of the  architecture we saw this Spring in Europe! 

Notably terrible photography on this one,
but look at the similarities!

So I immediately went to work on a design!

I'd like to claim that I made each of these beads just for this challenge, but it's not true.   I've been into a "gray" mood lately and making lots of polymer clay beads in shades of gray and a granite-like glittery gray.   Some I leave as is, some I paint with metallic acrylic paints, then seal.    I made this batch and more just before seeing this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge photo.

I had intended them for pairs of earring charms, but looked at them all spread out on my counter and started picking the ones that reminded me of the curves in the architecture, the arches, the round pillars, and the multiple shades of gray.


I strung the beads on gray Irish waxed linen thread (from WhiteCloverKiln, Mary Hubbard), some with antiqued brass jump rings. There are dark metallic seed beads used as spacers.  Then I added a bit of antiqued brass chain in the front.    

A lovely soft bit of gray Sari ribbon for the back.   (The ribbon crosses through another handmade polymer bead in granite working as a tube bead so that the length is adjustable, and can be tied to keep in place.)  This lovely soft Sari ribbon comes from TheJewelleryQuarter (Anne Betenson, Cardiff, Wales, UK). 

I used Wooly Wire by Eleanor Thomas on the pendant and at the rings where the ribbon loops through the large jump rings. Wooly Wire is also in shades of gray and serves a practical as well as ornamental purpose.   

I just loved this month's challenge and also that's it's now posted on Pinterest too!   It's inspiring and so much easier now to share our creations!  Thanks to all involved with ABS!   

I made this pair of earrings too,
using many of the same beads and materials.
It doesn't have the "sleek lines" of the painting,
but could be worn with the necklace!
I am proud to say that I think this is the first challenge where
I've made all the beads myself!

Listed in my Metapolies™ store on Etsy!

UPDATE 12/31/14:
Challenge recap and video now on
ABS page!


Beads, jewelry design, and photos by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Metapolies™, Dec. 2014.



Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful Sharyl! I love the combination of materials and the color scheme. Your beads are gorgeous. The earrings are fantastic too!

Unknown said...

It is amazing the similarities between your photo and the inspiration photo. I love your creations, and the fact that you made all of the beads yourself makes them all the more special. The color palette is gorgeous, and I love all of the unique features of your necklace from beads to chain to linen to silk to wooly wire. Almost like a "best of" collection. :) The design and balance of this necklace is perfection. I particularly love the beads that look like arches. Love it! Bravo!

Klassy Joolz said...

Beautiful Sharyl!

Sharyl said...

Thank you both for your generous appraisals! What kind words to warm my heart this morning! --Sharyl

ShadowDogDesigns said...

Wow! The necklace just draws me in, as does the photo - so the necklace works perfectly (: Fabulous job, Sharyl!

baymoondesign said...

What a great necklace! You nailed the inspiration piece with it and you made a lot of the beads. You should be very proud of it!

Unknown said...

This necklace is so beautiful and a wonderful interpretation of the inspiration! I love it that you made all the beads. There is so much wonderful texture. The earrings are wonderful as well.

Sharyl said...

My sincere thanks, kind friends! Catherine, Kathy, and Ann. Your encouraging words mean so much!

Sharyl said...

The necklace sold today and is on it's way to it's new home! I'm so thrilled! My thanks!

TesoriTrovati said...

I am so glad you came out of your hiatus to join in the challenge this month, Miss Sharyl! I love your design. It is at once tribal and romantic. It feels like the architecture deconstructed to its lines and planes. Thank you for joining in the fun! Wishing you a year filled with creative stimulation. Enjoy the day! Erin

baymoondesign said...

I really like this necklace. Your components are amazing. I love the colors that you selected. I can tell the art piece spoke to you. Well done,

Unknown said...

I love the colors being siver based and the layers are subtle and dramatic, just like the painting. Great job.

Unknown said...

Congrats on your win! Your necklace was my favorite piece in this challenge, and it totally deserved to win! Great way to start 2015!

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

Such a wonderful achievement, Sharyl, beautiful!