Blog Carnival: Re-making an old piece

Blog Carnival: Re-making an old piece

Published On: 02-10-2012 07:33am

Comments: 5 - Hits: 0

It's time for the monthly blog carnival from the jewelry artists at the Jewelry Artisans Community.  Each month we choose a topic and this month we're talking about ripping up old work and making it new again.

The subject of this particular work is the beautiful Ceanothus Silk Moth.  Native from British Columbia to western Montana and through the west coast states, in California, it's found mostly west of the Sierras.  Habitat includes coastal areas, chaparral and conifer forests.  With a wing span of 5-6 inches, these are truly magnificent moths.

The caterpillars feed on a variety of native California plants, the California lilac or Ceanothus being one of their favorites.  The moths do not feed - they exist solely  to mate and perpetuate the species during their brief week long life.

I found this nearly six inch specimen floating in the dogs' water bowl one night.  Sadly for him, his brief time on earth was over, but since he was in perfect condition, I fished him out of the water and decided to paint him.  It was a rare and precious opportunity to study one up close and I figured if I could paint him, it was a way to honor this gorgeous creature.


Painted in 2007, this is the original necklace.  One mm black cotton cord was threaded through the hole in the pendant, knotted and wood beads that I painted by hand to match the colors of the moth were added to the cord along with some cat's eye beads and gold toned pewter spacer beads.  Pretty simple stuff as I was fairly new to jewelry making back then.


I'm not sure why this necklace has spent most of it's life stored in a cotton lined box - it's never been worn by me or offered for sale.  Kind of a waste, actually.  When it was decided that this month's blog carnival topic would be ripping apart an old piece and re-making it, this one came to mind.

Here it is all ripped apart:



The new re-worked necklace features the pendant framed in a wire woven oxidized copper frame that is suspended from 2 mm black leather cord.  Some of the hand painted wood beads have been caged in copper wire and some have been left uncaged.  The gold toned pewter beads have been replaced with copper wire cages.




Overall, I like this new design.  The frame does a nice job of showcasing the pendant and the caged beads add some much needed visual interest.

The funny thing is that I'm still not completely satisfied with this new version.  So, I'll be ripping it apart and doing a re-re-work.  Just some minor changes (which have more to do with functionality than anything else) and once those are done, it'll be good to go. 

There comes a time when one has to stop over-thinking designs and decide it's done.  So, more go at it and it'll be time for Mr. Ceanothus to fly off to his new home, wherever that may be. 

As a side note; last night I was freaking out about the photos not being good enough and thinking it would be ok to be a day late getting this post up so I could re-take the photos.  Uh, no.  No, no, no!

My fellow bloggers have posted their links and letting them down cuz I didn't plan well enough isn't their problem; it's mine.  The photos will have to do.

To see what other Jewelry Artisan Community blog carnival participants are saying about ripping apart old work, check out these links:


Cat's Wire

Bead Up A Storm

Reader's Comments

By JewelryArtByDawn on 02/15/2012 @ 06:10am

Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments. Yea, I know - I over think things sometimes. Heh. Think of encountering a moth that size this way; it's sort of like a small bird flying around - that might help with realizing it's actually a very large insect! Ribbit, ribbit, Cat! :) Dawn

By Guest on 02/15/2012 @ 05:56am

I love your rework on this Dawn. The frame has done wonders to showcase Mr. Moth, and I love the cages on the beads in the necklace. Your pics are great! You worry wort, you! heheh

By Guest on 02/12/2012 @ 07:25am

I love what you did with the wire. It really makes the piece more modern.

By Guest on 02/11/2012 @ 11:02am

The frame does your beautiful miniature painting so much more justice, Dawn. It's a wonderful example of how a piece can be changed. I love your copper wrapping, so wonderfully neat! That's a stunning moth, too. I can appreciate it from this distance (if it were to fly anywhere near me, it would be a different story!) *shudders*

By CatsWire on 02/10/2012 @ 05:15pm

The frame is perfect for it, it really lets the moth stand out. I also love your caged beads, I never managed to get them right myself. Great work, Dawn! Aren't you happy you sang the frog song? Ribbit ... ribbit ...

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