18 March 2009

Emerald Isle Necklace - Etsy Wire Artisans Guild March Theme Challenge

I made this necklace for the Etsy Wire Artisans Guild March theme challenge of 'Emerald Isle'. One of the things I love about being in the Etsy Wire Artisans Guild is our theme challenges. They give us a chance to broaden our ideas, and maybe try a new technique or design we have been wanting to attempt, but just needed the impetus to start. I am half Irish (on my father's side) and have always been fascinated by the amazing knotwork the ancient Irish used to decorate everything from standing stones, to weapons, to jewelry, etc. For years I have studied the techniques for constructing these knotwork designs, and have collected a number of books on the subject. Until now, I have only drawn knotwork designs on paper, but with this theme challenge, I decided to break out and construct one out of wire.

The design for this necklace was adapted from the book, Celtic Art, Methods of Construction, by George Bain (Dover books). I did a sketch of the knot in the size I wanted before starting. I started with just the knot, wrapping as I knotted it, so I could get the points on the corners where I wanted them. This is the knot before I started adding the embellishment. There is over 30 feet of wire in it at this point.

Here I took a picture while taking a break from wrapping the embellishments onto the knotwork. The center features a piece of green sea glass I picked up off a beach in Ireland, when I went there with my daughters in 1998, and the tiny green beads are glass seed beads. Each tiny bead was looped around with wire after being wrapped onto the knotwork, to frame it, and the sea glass is set in a bezel of faceted Thai silver beads done in peyote stitch.

There is close to 70 feet of fine silver wire wrapped into the finished piece, and it took over a week of patient wrapping to complete. This is another one of those pieces that when I finished it, I couldn't believe I made it! It is stunning!

Thanks for letting me share it with you all!


Kathleen Krucoff said...

Awesome Pippi. Unbelievable detail and what great wire wrapping skill. You rock girl!

spilling beauty said...

you are so unbelievably talented!

Jane Of Handmade Jewelry Club said...

Like this creation. Would you mind if I were to introduce this work in www.handmade-jewelry-club.com? Cheers!

pippijewelry said...

Thank you, Jane!
I would be honored!

Jane Of Handmade Jewelry Club said...

Pippi, I will publish it under Jewelry Of The Week on 1/4/2009. There will be a link back to your blog. Cheers

Anonymous said...

This is a great piece! What a stunning OOAK design. Love the idea of taking off on a knot design and creating this shape....what talent! Teri