Bella, miniature collage cabochon, polymer clay, Nymo, glass beads
Bella is a collar-length portrait necklace. I begin with a clear acrylic cabochon, which is transformed into a miniature collage by applying images to the back of the cab. I work backwards, because the first images glued on will be seen as the top layer. This one uses a rose motif as a frame for the portrait, (a tiny reproduction of an antique photo). After the portrait is applied, the background is accented with a couple of pieces of iridescent "snow" flakes and finished with variegated gold leaf. The cabochon magnifies the collage. The layering is noticeable, the depth is a pleasure to gaze.
The collage is adhered to a stiff felt backing. Glass beads and polymer clay pods are embroidered around the cabochon. The back is finished with a final layer of felt, stitched in place.
I use fine beading needles: John James, size 13. I will use other needles, but only in a pinch. They are strong, thin and bend, rather than break. Mine begin straight and end up completely curved. As long as a needle stays sharp, I will use it until it breaks. John James.
A palette for fall-rich purples of the tiny iris beads, deep red of the garnet chips, cranberry, mink, orange and touches of blue-gives abundant versatility for autumn moods.
Bella is is a unique flavor of ornate and simple. The scale of the focal piece is compact, but heavily beaded and embellished. The sparse fringing at the center of the piece reflects the structure of the necklace. The pods and berries on the necklace are minimal, but add volume visually.