I've had the idea of this sunflower necklace in my head for a while and when I saw that the June challenge on the Art Elements Blog was Sunflowers I knew I needed to get it done. I was away on holiday for most of June so it was a bit touch and go as to whether I would get it finished in time and to be honest I shouldn't have been making it at all as I have the County Show next weekend which I need to get ready for. But, by the skin of my teeth, I managed to get it finished. Here it is:
I started by experimenting with different shades of yellow glass, frit and enamels until I found the effect I was looking for.
I ended up making enamel stringer which I painted onto an opaque yellow glass and then shaped the glass in the flame to get the petal shape. Then it was into mass production until I had enough petals in varying sizes and small brown balls to complete the necklace.
I couldn't get the cord in the colour I wanted. I had some orange cord but it looked too bright and garish. Black didn't look right either. I was looking for a natural colour but it wasn't available so I bought a beige colour being the nearest that I could get. When I put it next to the petals it looked so insipid. I wondered if I could colour it with some paint. I had some oil paint and thought I had nothing to lose so I gave it a try and it worked. I painted it on and then wiped off the excess and it worked. It gave it a hint of colour but still had a natural look.
Next came the clasp - it took me 3 attempts. I've made a magnetic clasp before but I couldn't find the magnets I used - I looked everywhere but to no avail. They'll probably turn up now I've stopped looking!
My husband had some more but they weren't the right size. I had to make a bead on the end of a big mandrel and then drill a hole in the centre to fit the to the magnet in. Unfortunately the first ones I tried were too small and not strong enough to hold the necklace closed.
The other magnets he had were bigger and so the previous method wouldn't work, then I had the idea of putting the magnet inside the bead. The second beads I made were too narrow so I had to ream them out to fit the bigger magnest inside. Unfortunately they were too thin and they broke :-(
Third time lucky and it was. I double dipped the mandrels so that the inside diameter was bigger and the magnets fit in perfectly. It worked! So I the clasp is magnetic but you can't see the magnets - perfect. I would have preferred the cord to be a little bit fatter so that it filled the inside of the bead completely but I am just being picky really.
I used enamels on the beads so that they matched the petals.
I'm so happy with the finished piece, it came out just as I imagined it would.
Thanks to Susan Kennedy for the challenge that promped me to get my butt in gear and make this necklace.
Please have a look at the other entries.
Thanks for looking.
PLEASE NOTE: you will notice that the date of the comments are all later. This is because I changed my wesite provider and copied them across. I can assure you they are all geniune.