Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Scarab and Lotus Wesekh

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of different methods for keeping track of beading ideas, including notebooks and recipe cards, bulletin boards, and just letting them roll around in my head. Usually the ideas that I most want to do stay with me until I’m ready to start taking out beads, but when the inspiration for Khepri’s necklace struck, I sketched it out immediately for fear of losing it.

Scarab Amulet of Tutankhamun

I was waiting to fall asleep one evening, and trying to decide what to do with a few packets of opaque red 6/o seed beads. I had failed to incorporate them into two separate projects, and I want desperately to find the right home for them. As often happens, my thoughts started wandering, and I was soon thinking of bugle beads. I have more in my stash now than I ever have, thanks to the wonder of hanks and crazy spontaneity of online shopping. I was considering some patterns for ladder stitch bracelets with my remaining crystal clear bugles, and wishing that I could trust them enough for herringbone weave.

Suddenly, I remembered a necklace I had made years ago, which did incorporate bugles into herringbone panels in small, secure rows. I didn’t want to make a strappy necklace; then I thought about small sections of herringbone, and before I knew it, I could see a collar that was perfect for the scarab god Khepri.

Herringbone Necklace with Bugles

I chose a palette of black with beetle greens - lemon lime, teal, and a hint smoky blue. To these I added some clear bugles, teal magatamas, and a dash of bright orange for contrast. The first stage involved creating several panels of herringbone weave, with an increase at the ends. I created a lotus-like pattern, and finished the edges with the magatamas. Once all of the panels were complete, I connected them with druks and teal coconut heishi beads. Finally, I added some netting and a clasp.

Although when I look at the piece I see the shapes of Tutankhamun’s Khepri amulet, and the shiny shells of a scarab beetle, the overall look of the collar came out a bit more Aztec than Egyptian, thanks to the feathery shapes. And even though the idea sprang from bugles, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't use them at all.

Khepri the Scarab Necklace

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  1. I love how you worked the triangles into the panels. This is truly a stunning piece!

  2. That is one gorgeous and amazing necklace. I am so impressed that you could even figure out hot to do it! Beautiful, Morti!

  3. Nicely done! I attended the King Tut exhibit last year and you've captured the feeling very well. It's also nice to see someone who knows what a wesekh is LOL. I make broad collars too.


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