With the huge variety of bead color and finishes available to us, one might think that every color palette would be perfect, sensational, or spot on. Perhaps if every beader lived across the street from a huge bead store and had an unlimited budget, this might be the case. Tragically, most of use are limited to what we’ve got, or what we can occasionally get our hands on, so it’s a real treat when a palette totally clicks and couldn’t be improved even a little bit.
My most recent Egyptian Gods piece was inspired by the mysterious and lovely Nephthys - daughter of the earth and sky, wife of chaos, and mother of the god of mummification. Like her sister Isis, Nephthys was a healer associated with kites (a bird of prey), but she was an underworld goddess representing darkness, decay, and regeneration. She embodied the cycle of life where new growth springs forth from death.
I knew right away which colors I wanted for Nephthys. Lots of black was essential, along with hints of green - not fresh and vibrant greens, but dark and mysterious ones. I mixed together some dark emerald and brown 8/o’s, some Indonsian glass beads in a brownish-green, and olive green seed beads, which look a little sinister among the other colors. I also grabbed some lime green long magatamas, hoping to incorporate the same wing-tipped design that worked so well for Isis.
When I brought all of the colors together, I decided to set the magatamas aside and let the more organic glass beads take the spotlight, and then everything just clicked. Who knew that darkness and decay could look so pretty? I created a netting pattern with just a single band of olive green, representing Nephthys’ domain, the edge of the barren Egyptian desert. The small green circle reminds me of my favorite poem, Ebb by Edna St. Vincent Millay - “…A little tepid pool, Drying inward from the edge”.
Nearly halfway through, I decided to bring the magatamas back in for a little texture. There are just a few ‘feathers’ at the center of the collar, facing away from each other. I couldn’t resist a connection between Nephthys and Isis. Although I do wish the green was a little less electric, I love the way the shapes of the beads work in the collar, even in just a small section.
Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading
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