Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Prototype Gertrude

Around Christmas, my friend Colleen came over bearing Kenneth Branagh's magnificent Hamlet, which we watched. I was enthralled, but not so enthralled I didn't get distracted by a quick glimpse of Queen Gertrude's beautiful choker, which she was wearing in exactly one scene. I started thinking about shapes and colors, and beautiful queenly necks. Then I had to figure out how to make an open diamond, which counter-intuitively enough, ends up working only if started as a square. That took a week to figure out.

But then I had the basic shapes, stitched them together and promptly stalled out trying to figure out how to extend the piece around the neck. I decided on smaller diamonds, and then the necklace said to me, quite loudly and a little rudely, that it needed to be reversible. Reversible? Are you sure? It was sure. So then I stitched up doubles of the diamonds, and tried to attach them to the backside of the diamonds already in place.

The lesson there was that the time to make a necklace reversible is when it's still in a little pile of components on one's tray, not after said components are all stitched together. But it worked okay. Then there was the matter of a clasp. Which I decided would only work with the elegance of the rest of the piece if it was completely symmetrical and detachable (which also gives plenty of room for size customization, a little collection of 3 or 4 different length clasps is going to give you 3 or 4 different necklaces).

Then it was a matter of draping the wing parts, and dropping the dangles. That's when I realized that my diamonds were too big- or too big for my neck, at least, because the wings don't hang quite the way I envisioned- they sort of pool around the clavicles, which is a nice enough look, but not what I wanted. I think my next take will have the large central diamond, then decreasing diamonds all the way around. We'll see where this takes me. But here's the prototype.


slimnun said...

Could you post a jpeg of this lovely piece around an actual neck?

Cyndi L said...

That is fabulous! I know exactly what you mean about getting distracted by a piece of jewelry (or the pattern of a textile) in a movie. I'm thankful that with dvds it's much easier to find the spot than it was with video tapes.

Love how you made it reversible...I'm sure it was worth the extra work :-)