Another month, another design challenge from Art Elements.
The topic "seed pods" chosen by Jen who shared great pictures and stories for inspiration is quite fascinating, but you may remember I'm not a gardener. I knew about the snapdragon heads that can look like little skulls (the plant is called "lion mouth" here, by the way) when the flower is dying, but it would probably have been just a bit lazy to take some carved howlite skulls and hang them on some kind of stem (on the other hand let me jot that down for the future, it might be worth a second thought).
What other kind of seed pods were there I could use for an idea?
Well, actually I had been given an idea five years ago. Back then a friend called my attention to Chinese lanterns or physalis. She said she could imagine me knitting some with wire, and so I did my best to figure it out with a prototype first, ordered some agate beads and made three of them. I plastered the picture all over the net, then put them down and forgot about them. Every, now and then I found them and tried to come up with an idea to put them on something like a branch - sound familiar? - and put them out in the hallway as decoration. I already knew I couldn't trust Ponder with them, they were too much like balls, but the wire I had used was too thin to take that risk and also too thin to use them in jewelry.
Now the idea was back. A few years ago I got lucky on a surprise destash parcel. It was a wild mix of some silver findings, crystals, glass beads, small faceted stone beads, a sterling silver chain with a flower pendant, WIPs (one of the earrings made a really sweet focal part for a necklace just the other day that I donated for a good cause). And there were four orange glass beads which had the perfect size for the pod "filling" (also, if anyone has an idea where I put the three leftover agate beads from the first project, let me know - they are probably in a very safe place).
So I grabbed my crochet hook, knitted four Chinese lanterns in different sizes and oxidized the copper for a more natural look. For my first three I had used a coated non-tarnish copper wire,and they always seemed a bit too shiny to me. After all this filigree look means the pods have dried up. Those skeleton pods are not always that greyish then, by the way, I have also seem in a brownish hue. It definitely is a beautiful look. Mother Nature is a true artist.
Now what to do with them?
I had several ideas. One was a necklace with pods hanging from something like a branch :-P Yes, I know, still the same idea. But hey, that's what they do in nature, too.
Maybe one of my wire crochet ropes would work. Spoiler alert - it didn't. Yes, I put some of the pods together with one I made with orange seed beads hoping it would remind of a dried up, but not skeletized pod - which didn't really convince me 100%, though - on two pieces of rope of different lengths. The pods should then be attached to different spots, but no matter how I tried to bring it all together, the look just didn't appeal to me. Was the rope too thick, were just the rope ends too thick, were there too many pods, I just didn't know.
So it was time for a break from it in which I made a pair of earrings instead which I liked better.
The break took longer than I had imagined. Not only got the heat and my cold in the way, I also had WIP procrastination. It's a disease highly dangerous for artists and artisans that keeps you from going back to a WIP you may have already messed up.
Symptoms are lack of creativity, small tantrums, phases of despair when noticing the due date is creeping nearer which usually brings on even worse creativity blocks with bouts of hesitation to even touch or look at the WIP.
If you are lucky, you are strong enough to break the vicious circle, hold the piece for a while without throwing it into a corner, breathe, and maybe the solution will come to you then.
For a short that seemed to be a twisted wire torque design, but nope, another fail *insert another tantrum here* ;-)
I almost thought this was it for the necklace until it did come to me today. I cut the two already attached pods from the rope, very carefully of course because there's no telling what I would have done, had I cut a wrong wire.
Then I put them on a chain, as simple as that. It was the best decision for the moment. I would have missed my mind if it had been lost completely. The signs were already there.
Voilà, one necklace.
Thank you for following me into my small world of madness and drama ;-)
Please have a look at the other participants' posts, too. It's something to look forward to!
Tammy - Raven - Alysen - Anita - Cat (aka me) - Kimberly - Rozantia - Sarajo - Divya - Caroline - Catherine - Kathy - Norma - Jill
AE Team Members
Claire - Caroline - Lesley - Niky - Laney - Susan - Marsha - Jenny - Cathy - Jen