Monday, May 31, 2010

Harvest Moon Pendant

Harvest Moon by forf
Harvest Moon
Photo Credit: forf.

Every month, the Etsy BeadWeavers team challenges it’s members to create a piece of beadwork inspired by a specific theme. For the month of June, Isabella challenged the team to use their favorite phenomenon as a muse. Using the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland as a model, Isabella suggests that we are all affected and connected by the major happenings around us. With this idea in mind, many EBW Team members have been creating their phenomenal entries.

The Inspiration:

I cycled through a few different ideas for my “Phenomenon” entry. At first I wanted to do a necklace mimicking Angel Falls. I have always adored waterfalls large and small, and this amazing spectacle of nature is definitely a beautiful phenomenon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to design a piece that I liked using the falls as inspiration.

Next, I thought of straying from the natural phenomenon, and creating something to represent the pyramids at Giza. Ancient Egypt has often been a favorite muse of mine, and the pyramids are definitely a phenomenon, regardless of when they were built. But again, I couldn’t think of a design that I really liked, and most of my ideas involved patterns, which I dread.

Finally, inspiration struck. I thought of another favorite phenomenon - the harvest moon. Whenever I step outside to see that giant golden orb, I wish that I weren’t living in a city full of light pollution that obscures so much of the night’s beauty. As soon as I thought of the moon, I knew exactly what to do.

Harvest Moon Bead Palette

The Beads:

I went through my entire stash of seed beads - even the shaped ones - and pulled anything and everything that could be considered moon-colored. I ended up with quite a nice collection of white, yellow, amber, gold and ivory. To give the impression of nighttime - and make sure the moon was not mistaken for a sun - I also grabbed some dark teal and matte black hexes for accent.

The Beadwork:

To create a big, bold, beautiful harvest moon, I used one of my favorite techniques - circular brick stitch. I started with a 10mm CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski pearl in gold, then added rounds of seed beads in alternating colors and sizes. I ended up omitting the pure white beads - I felt that they looked too stark against the other colors. I had to stop myself from making the pendant absolutely huge - I wanted it to be as large as possible without the risk of it folding over itself like a doily. To make a rope for the pendant, I used twisted tubular herringbone and the dark hex-cuts, finishing it with a black button clasp.

Harvest Moon Pendant by The Sage's Cupboard
Harvest Moon Pendant

The color combination is so strange - at first I wasn’t sure if I liked it. The four basic colors - yellow, ivory, black and blue - seen to have difficulty working together. If any two or three of them were combined, they would look great. But together, they almost repel each other. I think that it’s hard to decide how to pair off the colors - my eye wants the ivory to be pure white so that the palette can be divided into “yellow and blue” with “black and white”. Still, the unusual shade of teal blue makes it easier to accept not-quite-white with black. The more I look, the more pleasing the colors become.

You can see all of the current EBW Challenge entries by searching for "EBWC" on Stop by the Etsy BeadWeavers blog between June 9th and 15th to see all of the Phenomenon creations and vote for your favorite!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Sage's Cupboard


  1. Beautiful bead work and I love hearing how a wearable art piece "became".

  2. What a wonderful idea for this EBW challenge! Thanks for sharing your creative process. :)

  3. What a lovely, bold necklace! You have captured the essence of the Harvest Moon perfectly :)

  4. Oh, the timing of this post is perfect! I set myself this goal of making jewelry for several friends, who were supposed to send me a favorite picture for inspiration. Well, the first project has had me tearing out my hair! I had one idea that I got all excited about, ordered beads for, then finally realized that while the necklace was cool, I absolutely could not see this person wearing it. Then I had a second idea, which I was excited to start, but in execution failed over and over again. Finally I gave up and moved on to the next two projects, both of which are turning out nicely, but that first project! Just thinking about it makes me cringe!

    Then, your post! Of course, circular brick stitch! I've just learned how to do it and have been playing around with it, I don't know why it didn't occur to me to use it in this piece! Thank you for the inspiration! :)

  5. I'm glad I could help with the inspiration! This is one of my favorite techniques because it is so fun to do - I like the organic quality of the endless rounds.

  6. That pendant really is beautiful. Excellent work, and wonderful to read the inspiration behind it.

  7. Great inspiration, great necklace - what else is there?! :)


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