Following on from the 'Famous Painting' challenge, I thought I'd make an effort and complete a piece for the 'Read and Bead' challenge that the OTTBS spin off Facebook group had going. The deadline was 6th February, but the books were set way back in November to allow time for the reading as well as the beading!
I like to choose an unfamiliar book rather than one I have already read for these challenges, so I went for 'A Discovery of Witches' by Deborah Harkness. This is a paranormal romance with historical aspects, and was fun to read. The beading aspect was a little harder, partly because there were many different themes and settings.
In the end, I settled on making a pendant based on the hero Matthew's pilgrim's ampulla. Looking these up on the internet showed them to be variable in shape, but in general having 2 'handles' which could be used as hanging loops. In the book, Matthew's pendant is shaped like a coffin and has an embossed scene of Lazarus rising from the dead, but that level of detail was not going to be achievable without scaling the piece up too much to be wearable. Instead I used the coffin shape, and then embellished it with different aspects of the story. It is surprising how much you can fit into a small space!
Here is the finished piece:
The lampwork heart is for the love between the witch Diana and the vampire Matthew. The brown bugles represent Matthews distinctive spicy scent which I interpreted as cinnamon sticks, and the leaves are the contrasting herbal fragrance of Diana. A goblet (or possibly grail) holds a cross for Matthew's Crusader past. The contrast of matte and shiny metallic beads is to symbolise past and present. The pendant is embroidered on grey Nicole's Bead Backing, and backed with ultrasuede then strung on silver cord and ribbon for the scene in the book where Diana flies up from the oubliette.
Using non-pictorial inspiration has been a good exercise for me, as usually I'm very visually inspired. I recommend the process for a different take on beading...