06 April 2009

Meet My New Friend: Francois

"Any great work of art...revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world -- the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breath its strange, special air."
~Leonard Bernstein
Back in February, when I was in that inspiration slump, I found a contest for beaders hosted by Scarlett Lanson of The Beader's Muse. Scarlett is really young (in her teens) but yet she is already making a name for herself in the world of all things sparkly. Inspirational enough, to be sure.
Scarlett decided that she wanted to share her love of beading through hosting a contest called the "Use the Muse" challenge. Basically, each participant had to buy the kit she sold with the same components, and a mystery component...the Muse. The only requirement was that the Muse component had to be used. And you couldn't tell anything about it until the winners were revealed on her website.

Well, the contest has ended and it was quite a success. There were beaders from all over the world that she plotted on a map. Really cool to see how far flung the participants were! But not only by geography were we scattered, but in our styles and interpretations as well. I loved the fact that we were each given the same kit and were able to take it in whatever direction it moved us. There were beaders well known in those circles and those of us that are relatively obscure. But what united us was the Muse -- a lovely brass filigree. I added my signature skeleton key, a vintage button and some other beads as well.

In the spirit of replicating Master Artist's styles in jewelry, I used this challenge to bring to life a painting by Francois Gerard. The neo-classical style of this painting from the early 1800s featured a high attention to detail, very distinct colors and the settings were almost mythical in depiction. Portraits were very common, and Gerard was a master at such paintings. The Portrait of Madame Recamier depicted a very beautiful woman who was popular in French society. Scandal was not unknown to her, and among other notable admirers, she was rumored to have a love affair with Prince Augustus of Prussia.
I imagined that this necklace, titled "The Invitation", was worn by the lady with a special key to her private boudoir. I envisioned the following story to accompany the piece...

“The envelope simply read, ‘Come and stay awhile,’ written in the unmistakable flourish of Juliette. Out tumbled the lone key to her private salon. Quickly, Augustus tucked the trinket in his shirt lest anyone see the coveted invitation. And he smiled at the thought.”

Can't you just feel the heat in that room?
I am sure that Augustus would not be able to refuse such an invitation.

My invitation to you is to read more about my creative process in making this piece at the Watch Me Create blog here.

What is the most creative or inspiring invitation that you have ever received?

Do tell!


Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog as an inspiration! I am so happy to be able to share my ideas and thoughts. I feel really fortunate.

Also, congratulations on your many successes. It was very interesting to follow along your creative process and see what a remarkable end piece resulted. Keep up the good work!

Jenners said...

This was so interesting! I loved the idea of the contest and how you described your creative process and design. What an interesting story! Now you need to write a novel to be sold with your necklace!

Unknown said...

You are not only creative with your beads and trinkets but in your thoughts and words as well. :)

Pretty Things said...

The pictures are amazing!


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