Sunday, December 30, 2012

Buddha's Temple Necklace

The assignment for the Etsy Beadweavers 2013 February Challenge, from Kris Empting-Obenland, is as follows:
"Japan has a most exciting culture. There is a distinct division between past and future: ancient traditional values with their strong rituals, art forms and language on one side, versus the crazy dazzling fashion modernity, neon colors, and plastic kitsch on the other side.

Pick ONE of these two styles to create a piece of jewelry that shows the important criteria needed to convey either the traditional or the modern Japan. OR: combine both styles into one piece accentuating the contrasts!"
So, the above necklace is my answer to the challenge.  Let me ask you, before I explain myself,

1)  Can you see any Japanese influence in this piece?
2)  Do you see traditional Japan, or kitschy contemporary, like Hello Kitty and Anime?
3)  What aspect of Japanese culture do you think my research and inspiration was taken from?

I would just love it if any of the ideas in those questions were discernable in the finished work, but they may not be.  If your first impression of the piece, without knowing the title, had a sense of "Asian," without really knowing why, I'd feel wildly successful.  Because, according to what I have read, Japanese architecture derives from Chinese and other Asian construction styles.  So, here's my intention, laid out in words.  Let's see if you got any of what I tried to do.


Image from WikiMedia
I looked at several images of various things Japanese, and found myself drawn to traditional Japanese architecture, specifically the sweeping, gently curved roof lines of temples.

Some of the temple roofs actually had spiked details at the roof corners, which REALLY appealed to me.
Image from WikiMedia
So I decided that these traditionally Japanese /Asian and very appealing shapes would inspire my work for this challenge.

I chose some "Purple Turquoise" pillow beads and a gorgeous 14 carat piece of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, whose softly curved edges reminded me of the shapes I liked in the roofs.  I captured them in 24k dark gold delicas, to emphasize the bronze infusion in the Purple Turquoise.  Then I used Bohemian hand-make spike beads to emulate the spiked details at the roof corners.


The detail is easier to see in the more nearly rectangular beads.


I was pleased with how I was able to make the spikes seem to spring out of the bezels, without fully bezeling them, thus maintaining the same effect as the "spikes" on the temple rook corners.  Then, I connected my spiked components, trying again to use the delicately curved roof lines.


I chose an antique bronze filigree toggle and ring as a clasp, and finished the piece with a delicate drop from the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise center component.  If this piece should be yours, please visit the listing for it in my Etsy shop here!

I struggled for a little while this fall with what to make.  I decided the best thing to put in my Etsy shop are things I myself would want to wear.  I'm kinda lusting after this piece, so, the idea produces things I like, but it's a little hard to part with them. :)  But list I will, and here's a link if this piece should be yours!  I'll take pleasure in knowing I have made something I'm proud of, and would be proud to sell, or wear myself.

To quote the Buddha himself:
"The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." 

32 comments:

  1. Honestly I did not see the Asian/Japanese influence. After you pointed out your inspiration it made sense.

    I will tell you my first impression was "Ohhh, how pretty." I love the colors in this piece. I am also quite fond of bezeled stones.

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    1. I'm gonna be real happy with "Ohhh, how pretty!" Maybe inspiration does not have to be visible to be useful! I appreciate your honesty, Kathy Jo!

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  2. Well, I am just the opposite of KJ, my first impression was that it was a very Asian inspiration. The colors are wonderful, I am a Turquoise fanatic in my own life, but I also love the "Asian/Ethnic" look in beadwork. Beautiful job.

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    1. Woot! Thank you for sharing, and for the kind words!

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  3. Colours in all your beadwork /in this one particulary/ aer very close to my heart- brave, impressive, full of surprises.Thank you for a great treat for my eyes!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and responding. Appreciated!

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  4. I love your interpretation of the theme, I honestly thought about kimonos at first, but your explanations totally make sense and the result is awesome.

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    1. Thank you! I know of one other entry so far that features koi. I think is will be an interesting theme!

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  5. Oh wow this is so beautiful, I love reading about your inspiration

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  6. I saw the corner spikes right away, and the symmetry of the piece is Asian to me. It's almost like a series of framed windows, looking from the outside in. Beautiful colors and I like knowing the inspiration behind the work. This is a beautiful piece.

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  7. Wow Marsha! Once again your work is lovely and reflects your intent. I am a novice beginning to find inspiration in my world and you provide a great example of where to look. Thanks for sharing your insight!

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    1. Thanks Mary. I don't know much about how to find inspiration, but I do know what I like when I see it, and those temple roofs really got my attention. I appreciate your response.

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  8. His worthy representation for the topic!
    Fantastically nice!

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    1. Thank you Evi! I look forward to seeing your entry as well,

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  9. wow this is so amazing!

    ˜*•.˜”*•.˜”*•.•*”˜.•*”˜ .•*˜ ”*•.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    *”˜ .•*”˜.•*˜•*˜ .• *” *•. ˜*•.˜*•.

    Zdenka

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  10. Thank you Lyra, Happy New Year to you too!

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  11. Whoa Marsha!!! This is spectacular. Love the unique colourway.
    Happy New Year.

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  12. Beautiful! I love the colors! It's very interesting to see where exactly the inspiration came for the piece. The inclusion of the spike beads really make it stand out!

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  13. Thank you Terah! I really love your entry in the rising star EBW challenge as well. :o)

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  14. Well done! I can't say I know anything about Japanese culture, but I have noticed often times how very detail oriented and precise they are with creating - from clothes to jewelry to buildings etc and I get that from your creations - not just this piece.....I do love this interpretation very much by the way.

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  15. Well Naan, may e detail oriented and precise is just another way to say obsessive compulsive. :) Thank you for your kind comment,

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  16. just so beautiful!!! wonderful colours!!!

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  17. Just wonderful...love the texture and color movement :)
    Happy 2013
    -Eva Maria

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