Thursday 10 July 2014

Art Bead Scene - The Mermaid

The Little Mermaid (At the mere sight of the bright liquid they drew back in terror) signed and dated 'Edmund Dulac 11' (lower right) and with inscription 'At the mere sight of the bright liquid...they drew back in terror' 
This illustration was one of at least 28 prepared by Dulac for the 1911 Edition of Stories from Hans Andersen and, in this case, it was one of those accompanying the tale of "The Mermaid". It is associated with the following text:
'If the polyps should seize you, when you go back through my wood,' said the witch, 'just drop a single drop of this liquid on them, and their arms and fingers will burst into a thousand pieces.' But the little mermaid had no need to do this, for at the mere sight of the bright liquid, which sparkled in her hand like a shining star, they drew back in terror. So she soon got past the wood, the bog, and the eddying whirlpools.

Welcome to a mini blog hop featuring certain editors of Art Bead Scene's take on this month's challenge piece. We're hoping to excite your imagination and encourage you to join in with us! 

First, let's consider the inspiration piece. I absolutely love this illustration, but I found it hugely challenging to create from. I think the reasons for this are 1) this huge colour palette used here and 2) the densely detailed pictorial nature of this piece of art. You can really tell that along with watercolours, Dulac has used pen and ink in this illustration. It's gorgeous - but somehow, I didn't quite know where to begin with it. 

Of course, I could have 'just' focused on the colour scheme. But there are just SO many colours here, even that left me feeling a little panicked! I was also keen to get a slightly watery feel to whatever I created. 

I had a whole other necklace finished and ready for photographing, and I could have shared it here, as it looked lovely laid out....but very annoyingly, it just wouldn't hang right once it was 'on'. The clasp kept flipping over and some of the beads kept swivelling around too....We've all been there, I know, but this doesn't lessen the annoyance! Here's a peek at what could have been:

I took the rather painful decision to take it apart and begin again. Glad I did however! Here's what I came up with:

The Mermaid (available on etsy)

Pretty simple at the end of the day! I am glad I was able to pare the inspiration down mentally. I chose not step AWAY from the detail, and be inspired by the bleeding colours and the watery, frondy feel. Yes, I know the chain has leaves to it and could be seen as Autumnal, but the feel of it seemed reminiscent of underwater plants - fronds that sway beneath the salty waves. 

It really started when I spotted this long-hoarded Round Rabbit porcelain pendant, which had just the perfect bleeding of colour to it:

 Add to that rustic freshwater pearls from Smitten Beads and a single matte glazed ceramic round from Kylie Parry and you have my finished necklace. 

The Mermaid (available on etsy)

If you would like to create something based on this month's (or any month's, for that matter!) challenge, then here are the Challenge Guidelines. Each month, we have at least 2 sponsors from whom you can win prizes for entering. There are some really awesome prizes on offer this month (and every month)! Have a look at what you could win by entering. I hope you will join us!

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at


Claire Lockwood said...

Beautiful! That pendant is just perfect!

Ema Kilroy said...

Lovely Rebecca. I like the look of the first necklace too but the finished piece with the addition of the fresh water pearls is perfect!

Alice said...

How fun that the editors are having their own mini blog hop. I love your piece. The focal is beautiful and so fitting for this challenge, and those rustic freshwater pearls are gorgeous.

Mary Harding said...

The perfect pendant Rebecca. Love that watery green and the brown markings of age. Lovely necklace and a wonderfully informative and well written post!!

TesoriTrovati said...

Ever so lovely, Miss Rebecca! I am working on a pendant for this month and it is becoming quite large, but I am loving the layers of texture that this image brings. I hope that I can show it soon! This is beautifully made. Enjoy the day. Erin

thecolorofdreams said...

What a great necklace. Love the leaves underwater seaweed look.

Unknown said...

You most definitely made the right decision - if you are not happy with a piece it is far better to step away from it

Your pendant is absolutely stunning and really captures the theme.

Shai Williams said...

Just love the pendant! It sure sums up this beautiful painting.

Gale said...

I love how you kept it simple and focused on the sea green and mulberry color combination. Lovely!

Heather Powers said...

Gorgeous and perfectly captures the movement and feel of the inspiration.

Deb Fortin said...

that chain reminds me of seaweed that has washed ashore , I've seen some that exact colour , a translucent brownish copper. beautiful pendant with lovely colours in it and an antique pottery look.


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