petrus christus again

So, you may or may not have noticed by now that I have a bit of a thing about Petrus Christus.

This time I was looking at his portrait of a young girl, and started thinking about the necklace. So I went to see my mum and scrounged some stuff.

You see, first I should confess that I never really think of beaded jewelery as “proper” jewelery – not becuase I do silversmithing, but because when I was about ten, my mum gave up her job to become a textile artist (I really should dig out some of her old stuff and post piccies, it was rather good) unfortunately, in the 1980s it was kind of a hard sell – now, with the net, it would be easy enough to find the market for it, but back then you really needed to be in London, and we weren’t.

So mum started supplementing her income with beaded jewelery (this was before the current situation where every badly organised craft fair is made up of a minimum 50% jewelery, most of it bought in). A lot of the stuff she sold was made by me as a way  earning my pocket money, or rather making up the huge deficit of my numerous pocket money advances.

Hence, becuase my earliest earnings came from making beaded jewelery, I kind of struggle to be impressed by it, or see it as an actual skill, cos, well, actually a ten year old could do that, and did.

This thing started to change my mind a bit, mainly cos it was a complete and utter pain in the backside, and took me a whole day to make. I’m posting two pictures of it because I genuinely can’t decide whether it looks better on the yellow or red background.

petrus neck redpetrus neck yellow

actually, the yellow one might be a bit out of focus, sorry.

It’s made from little black seed beads (the kind you don’t thread but just fish for) gold 5mm bugle beads, and 8mm freshwater pearls(I always have pearls in stock), with a quickly made catch of silver wire (I don’t like fiddly modern catches, they’re hard to do up and they tangle in my hair, and it’s easy enough to make a soldered silver one). I don’t know when I’ll actaully get to wear it, maybe Tatton Park? but I think I like it better than the painted version.

What I like best if the way the pearls work against the black, even though it’s a little bit Goth. I must confess to being a bit of a pearl nazi with medieval stuff. Plastic pearls are horrid, they always look plastic and there just isn’t an excuse for something so nasty. I think the excuse that you couldn’t afford real ones doesn’t hold much water – if you can’t afford real pearls(which aren’t actually that expensive), do something that doesn’t involve pearls, its not like there isn’t enough choice. Glass ones are excuseable as long as they’re decent quality (theres plenty of evidence for fake pearls in the medieval period, both glass and concocted from various pastes of nacre, just not plastic) but decent glass pearls are almost the same price as real ones, so you might as well have the real thing.

Tell you what though – I’m not about to start making them to sell.


~ by opusanglicanum on April 22, 2013.

20 Responses to “petrus christus again”

  1. Love it!

  2. That’s so pretty.

  3. I’ve pretty much given up going to craft fairs exactly because of the plethora of uninspired and rather tatty jewellery on display – yours looks a lot more interesting!

    • I tend to make a distinction between craft fairs and crap fairs. A decent craft fair needs an organiser prepared to turn people away on the basis that we already have enough jewelery or whatever, and to police whats there to make sure it is actually made by the person selling it – and that’s a rare beast indeed. Having grown up at craft fairs I can tell at a glance, but so many people either cant tell or simply dont care

      If you’re making what you sell that same situation can be really demoralising as well, cos if you book in good faith and then find the event is 90% bought in shit from india there’s just no way you can compete with someone who’s basically a market trader. Even made in yorkshire who do the big marquees at the yorkshire show and make a big thing of being for real makers still end up with some stuff thats not.

      farmers markets are getting to be in the same boat with bloody cupcakes

      • Indeed. Cupcakes are a serious disappointment when you actually taste one!

        I once took part in a show which had an organiser who didn’t think it through, so I know what you mean. It’s one of the reasons I don’t make stuff to sell anymore. I do commissions, but the clients get vetted too!

      • most cupcakes have too much sickly sweet icing. I top mine with chocolate and fresh cream ganaches, so they’re luxurious and yummy without being really sweet. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth

  4. I like it (as historical reproductions, though personally I don’t like most jewelery of that sort). I think it looks better on the red.

    If you want to be critical, the ratio of the beads:pearls size is off compared to the portrait. However, they look better on the big version of the pictures, where you can see the individual black beads, so they probably look nicer again in person. And even if it’s not a perfect replica, it is attractive and very much in the same vein as the original.

    I guess I should be lucky I don’t go to craft fairs? Or perhaps that’s one of the reasons I never got into going to craft fairs? That and the multiplicity of generally naff stuff – either outright naff, or good design poor execution, or good execution poor design. Not sure which I find most annoying…

    • the other round pearls I have were too small – bigger was better in this case. I know what you mean, I’ve never been a big jewelery wearer – I only wear it when I see it as part of the costume, and even then I usually take it off before the end of the day

      I dont mind the naff granny knitted tea cosies(although genuine granny knitting is quite rare these days) becuase at least someone has had fun and genuinely made it themselves – and knitting is good for the old dears and thier artritis – its the sheer brazenness of some of the stuff people try to pass off as thier own work that gets me. Oh and the other one I’ve heard from people selling Indian silver is “well I dont actually make it myself, but I do design it” when its the same trippy gap year shite every student brings home (which, incidentally, I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole – one girl in my silversmithing class had a piece from her gap year she brought in to repair cos a stone had fallen out. You’re meant to support a stone with a ring of silver underneath, but the stone had fallen out because ehrs had been stuffed with rolled up newspaper instead)

      btw, you going to rufford, harewood or tatton?

      if you’re going to harewood can I recruit you into the fashion show? I needs models!

      • My group is only just getting into national stuff and we’re 14th C so I hadn’t planned to go to any of those. Having said that, I might just have to look them up now…

        What is this fashion show and what do you need? *curious*

      • Its a medieval fashion show, and, since you mention it, what it really needed last year was some decent c14th participants…

        seriously, we didn’t have a single model from the c14th, you should come and represent your century!

      • I would absolutely *love* to come. But google tells me Harewood is Whitsun Bank Holiday and I’m going to be at the other side of the country that weekend. Otherwise I would leap at the chance.

        But, if you ever need any 14th C people (fancy or otherwise), please let me know. I could even persuade Himself back into his fancy stuff too (and, you know, actually finish the outfits…).

      • banks holidays are always tricky. Harewood is turning into a pleasant little event though if you get the chance ext year. thing is, I have enough kit to do the women’s half right the way through, but I can’t wear it myself!

      • Harewood does sound lovely. So, perhaps next year. Whitsun is always a bit awkward, though, as it’s my birthday and so the family generally wants to see me for some reason. 😛

        (I now have a strange image of you running a fashion show using dress dummies mounted on a little railway track… O_O No accounting for my brain…)

      • how awkward of them

  5. You know me. Never met a bead I didn’t like. I have a thing about using up old neglected necklaces, despite the fact that they have that horrible stale perfume and make-up smell. This is gorgeous though. And I would like to see some of your mum’s textile pieces.

    • I was about to take an enourmous tupperware of crap beads and bits of broken jewelery in to the local priamry school for craft projects – want me to pick out some of the nicer bits for you?

  6. Fantastic necklace! Well done and thanks for the follow 🙂

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