Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sacred Bull Necklace

It’s always gratifying when a design idea turns out the way we planned, but it’s an even rarer treat for a finished piece to greatly exceed our expectations. There was a rather long period when I thought that my latest Egyptian gods necklace was going to be a dud, and it wasn’t until the last minute that I realized it turned out perfectly.

My subject was Apis, the black bull of Memphis. Priests of the cult of Apis worshipped an actual bull, believed to be the reincarnation of the god Ptah. It was identified by several white markings, and treated like a king, including a lavish Egyptian burial.

Apis the Black Bull of Memphis Apis the Bull Bead Palette

I decided to blend a little from both gods, and included both black seed beads with beige, white, and real bone. For a hint of Ptah, I included some African trade beads in a dark lapis blue. Happily, I also had one more spiral bone pendant left, which would make the perfect focal for a bull necklace.

I was really eager to use the trade beads, but they aren’t as regular as new seed beads. I decided to go with spiral rope to give them a place to shine. The beadwork came out rather chunky thanks to the extra large beads. To mimic the white triangle on the forehead of the Apis bull, I switched from black and blue to white at the center of the rope. I added some natural bone heishi to replace the trade beads and provide a backdrop for the pendant.

Apis the Bull Spiral Necklace

I wasn’t at all thrilled with how the rope was looking at first, and I was sure that I had made a mistake. I was already committed, so I decided to see how the rope would turn out, and perhaps make another use for it. It wasn’t until everything was assembled that I realized how well the pattern and colors work together. The shock of white at the center of the necklace creates a great contrast.

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  1. Lovely necklace ! The spiral bone pendant looks lovely and adds a very rustic look to the necklace . And I absolutely love the spiral rope .

  2. Oh, I love the colours! Very beautiful! Isn't it so rewarding when one makes a piece that first looks a bit like a mess and then suddendly everything comes together and the result is stunning!

  3. You made great choices, right down to the toggle.


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