Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - September Reveal

In place of this week's Wednesday Worktable, I bring you something else... the reveal for my September Challenge!

As a refresher: this month, I decided to tap into my Art History roots and make jewelry inspired by the works of a painter. The painter in question? James McNeill Whistler.

Now, in my my introductory entry, I showed two of Whistler's works that I really appreciate. My challenge was to make jewelry based off of at least one of them. And, once again, I am an overachiever... I made jewelry for both! (Now there's a surprise...) 

So! Without further ado, here are the jewelry pieces I've made, inspired by Whistler's art.

The Peacock Room

The Peacock Room
Not my picture! 
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Another view of the Peacock Room.
Not my picture! Photo courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons.

And here is what I made!

Ta-da! So many things!

...Yep, I made all of that. It's five pieces overall: two necklaces, two pairs of matching earrings, and a bracelet. 

Now, as a disclaimer: I realize that the shades of green that I used don't exactly match the Peacock Room. The diamond shaped pearls were the closest that I could find to that deep deep hue, and I had to make due with what I could find. Regardless, however, I think my pieces still do justice to the rich emerald-and-gold juxtaposition of Whistler's work. Hopefully you'll agree. :)

The bracelet--glass and leather,
coupled with an ornate button, crystal teardrops, and a green iris pearl.

Now, early on in this challenge, I resolved to make a necklace without a tassel. I also resolved to highlight some of the more subtle portions of the peacock room--namely, the golden flowers that are found in the borders. (I think they're chrysanthemums, but don't quote me on that.)

That's why, when I found the stylized enameled flower pendant, I knew it was meant to be. I combined it with beads I salvaged from a broken vintage necklace (you'll notice the vintage clasp), and the flower necklace was born.

I wasn't done, however. That's when I found a strand of those deep green, diamond-shaped pearls, and I knew I had to make something with them. And I had to use feathers. I mean, it's the peacock room, for crying out loud.

...And, dangnabit, I wanted to make something with a tassel.

So I did.

Of the two necklace-and-earring sets that I made, I'm pretty sure that this is my favorite. I love the colors, I love the way that feathers hang when it's worn... Although, to be fair, I'm pretty pleased with everything I came up with!

Another shot of everything all together.
My honey locust tree decided to add to the arrangement.

So, ta-da! That is what I made, inspired by Whistler's Peacock Room. But, wait, there's more... It's now time to see what I made for my other favorite piece...

Nocturne in Black and Gold - 
The Falling Rocket

Nocturne in Black and Gold -- The Falling Rocket
Not my picture! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Here is what I made!

Once again, I made five pieces: a bracelet, two necklaces, and two pairs of matching earrings. And, unlike the jewelry I made for the Peacock Room, I feel like the colors are pretty spot-on. Yay!

The bracelet!
A combination of black leather, antique gold beads, crystal, glass, and a vintage button.

Once again, I challenged myself to make something without a tassel. So, I gathered a bunch of materials in hues similar to the painting: gold-sheen obsidian, lapis lazuli, pearls (large ones dyed twilight-blue, small ones dyed dusk-green), Czech glass, and crystals. Then I mixed them with different shades of metal (gold, antique gold, and brass)... This set was the result:

...I couldn't help myself, though. I really wanted to make something that echoed the movement of the cascading embers--the eponymous Falling Rocket. So, with my leftover beads, I gave in to my tassel obsession and made this:

I just love the gold flecks visible in the lapis.

I'll be honest: I really, really, really like the way that these pieces turned out. The colorway is just gorgeous, and right up my alley.

Once again, here is everything together.

So, there you go! I truly enjoyed this challenge... I loved creating jewelry based on Whistler's work. You can probably tell, based on the sheer volume of items I created, that I was inspired!

...And I certainly hope you like this Art History kick I'm on, because I now have an entire list of artists that I want to tackle! Painters and sculptors and book illustrators--woo! (And if you have  favorite that you'd like me to look into, let me know in the comments! I already have someone picked out for next month, but I would love suggestions!)

Thanks so much for joining me today for this reveal! I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday, and a wonderful last day of September. 

See you in October!


  1. What a great idea! And that tassel necklace in the second set is perfect for the inspiration -- there couldn't have been a better excuse to make a lovely, luscious tassel like that one. I particularly love the way the lapis diamond nestle together. Yummy!

    1. Heee! I'm glad you like it! I had so much fun with that second tassel necklace... Then again, I've been enjoying tassels in general. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting--it made my night! :)

  2. Wowsers! You've outdone yourself this month!

    These pieces belong in a museum! ;)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! :)