Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Bracelet a Week: Queen Weret

Queen Weret Bracelet

This week I had some fun with something I don’t often use - bold, opaque colors. I usually avoid pairing different colors of opaque beads in a single piece, because I want to avoid that crayon-y, gift shop beadwork look. But with so many new Egyptian and tribal inspirations, I’m challenged to find the right balance of colors, shapes and proportions to make it work.

Opaque royal blue isn’t a new color to me, but I’ve had no desire to use it for years, until I decided to recreate the anklets of Queen Weret. My bracelet is actually a recreation of a recreation. No one will ever know for certain what Queen Weret’s jewelry really looked like. The materials used to string and weave her lovely beads were long gone when her remains were discovered, but Adela Openheim of the Metropolitan Museum of Art was able to reconstruct them with some educated guesswork.

Djed Pillar Bracelets

I particularly like the anklet design from the Queen Weret jewels, with the enameled claw charms in the center, so I used these as inspiration. The palette of the original is blue, red, turquoise and gold. Most of my gold substitute colors are too transparent or flashy to work well with the rest of the palette, so I went with dark beige instead. I like the way it cools off the palette, makes it earthier, and balances the slight luster of the turquoise.

I used the same technique behind my Wavy Wedges bracelet, but without the waves. To mimic the charms, I added some drops and daggers to the center panel. They certainly don’t resemble the glass inlay of the original, but they complete the look all the same.


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