Wednesday, 15 August 2012

When is simple too simple?

*Looking for bead soup - it's here*

I actually had good timing this month for the ABS challenge.  I had a partially completed a polymer veneer and the inspiration piece sealed its fate.

That patch of sunlight reflection in Winslow Homer’s “Fishing Boats, Key West” was the first part to catch my eye.  I then soaked up all those blues (yay more blue!), the flash of red and darker crimson where the hull of the boat meets the water.  The first beads I made from this inspiration aren’t yet in a finished piece of jewelry so I will save those for next week.  So here is my second thought on this jumping of point.


Has the pennant/bunting trend passed? I don’t know, it’s been around for a while but you know I’m not over it yet.  I ended up with these fun pennant beads when I folded my “boats” in half – see it? 

Here is the flip side (slightly different waves)


This is when I start to wonder, when is simple too simple? Here is the part of the ABS rules that worries me:

***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply wire or cord will not be accepted.***

I feel I have designed with art beads, ones made by my hands, seven of them actually -- BUT they are strung only on a silk cord (my reference to the sail) and the only other component are the ebony wood beads at either end to keep all the beads on the silk (what’s a boat without some wood?).

I understand the reason for the rule of course, in it’s essence.  I thought about how I might change this design, but I really like how versatile it is without any additional beads or knotting of any sort.  This allows you to tie it up tight at chocker length with the tails down your back, or tie a bow and wear it to the side, or even tie like a lariat and have the pennants up one side.
 the maybe entry

I actually find it nicest a little higher up than in that first picture, and it does sit nicer than I’m showing on the far right, but you get the idea.  It’s light as air, can be worn at least six different ways (remember it’s reversible) so I think that’s designed, right?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you approach simple designs.  I’m going to go ahead and submit this entry and let the powers at ABS say yea or nay.


  1. It's fabulous! And no, I don't think this 'bunting pendant' trend will ever go out of style.

    And the fact that you made those beads yourself means that you did waaaay more than buy the beads and string them on silk cord and called it good. By the way, I love that the silk cord represents the sails. Way cool. You won't be out anything if the rule does apply (which I really thing you have nothing to worry about).

  2. I think you've done a wonderful job of interpreting the painting, in both the design of the necklace, and in the design of the beads.

  3. Emma, I don't see at all how your thoughtfully designed and executed necklace could be viewed as mere "beads strung on a chain". Each component is elegant simplicity. It is telling your story; I am envious of your wonderful interpretation!

  4. i really like this design! it's clean and sharp! i would wear it, for sure! a great job... i see the ray of sunlight in the silk cord... i think it is perfect.

  5. I think the simplicity is lovely and captures the painting beautifully. I read the rule as excluding 'one bead stuck on a string'.

  6. Yeah! Your necklace has been chosen as a featured piece on ABS this morning! Congratulations. I loved reading about your design process here and it confirms that many times what appears effortless and simple, comes from extensive thought and work. Love the versatility and my favorite is the middle one.

  7. I think that this is a beautiful representation of this challenge artwork! I love that you thought about it. You gave it different looks simply by changing the orientation. I think this is lovely, and congrats on being chosen by our editor! Enjoy the day, Miss Emma! Erin

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  9. Your piece is nicely done, it really capture the colors ans essence of the picture. Lovely:)

  10. What a lovely pieces! It captures the essence of the painting beautifully.

  11. These beads are great and look just right on the simple ribbon necklace!

  12. Emma! This necklace perfectly and creatively echoes the mood and colors of the inspiration painting! I think you did a fine job with this, and I love that the design is so versatile. Well done!


I'd love to hear what you think, thanks for taking the time to join in the conversation