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.
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.