Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Borrowed Baboon Necklace

When designing jewelry, or any type of artwork, we are often faced with tough decisions. When we use specific themes, sometimes we have to decide whether or not to stay true to an idea or concept, or bend it to what is more mainstream or widely accepted. For instance, way back when I first started making beaded starfish, I was confronted about the misnomer (they’re actually called sea stars) but ultimately decided to stick with the common name.

This week I had a little battle over staying accurate and making something really eye catching. When I sat down to sketch out ideas for the Egyptian baboon god, I had no idea where to begin. The hamadryas baboon sacred to the Egyptians isn’t the colorful and showy primate that we know from cartoons and caricatures. They’re pretty much just brownish and fuzzy. Babi himself wasn’t offering much inspiration either. His most memorable attributes are impressive nether regions, and a taste for entrails - in other words, a little more of a challenge than I’m willing to take on at this point.

Baboon Bead Palette Colorful Mandrill Face

Before I had really started my research on Babi and Egyptian baboons, I had been thinking of dark Montana blue and a nice shade of brown. Whenever I’m working on a less common deity, there’s always temptation to fall back on shades of lapis or turquoise blue. I decided to trust my instincts and stick with these colors. I just needed something to indicate the baboon, like a pop of color. Unfortunately, the brightly colored mandrill has nothing to do with Egyptian mythology, and I was rather annoyed about it. Then I realized: I can make what I want! Not only would a combination of turquoise and red give my palette a hint of baboon-ness, but it’s a perfectly Egyptian.

I added some black to my main palette, and used red and aqua white-hearts for the accents. There’s just enough color to liven up the darker shades of the collar, and the baboons will never know that I cheated.

Babi the Baboon Collar

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  1. First off the baboon face is striking. I love it. I also love how your piece turned out. Very nice!

  2. I think the colors you chose depict the baboons face perfectly!!

  3. I love your projects and your beadweaving. Your instructions are easy to understand. Hard to find anyone that can explain things in terms for the average person to understand. You have such talent.


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