Sunday, 6 July 2014

Why Did The Dragon Fly?

Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to exhibit at the Scottish Arts Club - an organisation based within a beautiful Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh. It really is an exquisite space - you can have a look at photos over on their website, but I recommend if you are in Edinburgh and are able, do arrange a visit and have a look around. They have exhibitions on which change on a monthly basis, and these are open to the public during the day - a perfect excuse to take in some art, and a stunning building to boot. I have attended a few events here as a guest, and it's always a treat to take in beautiful art in equally beautiful surroundings.

Of course, I had to get myself and my jewellery over to the Scottish Arts Club from here in Belfast! One thing that has been particularly challenging about going to and fro between Northern Ireland and Britain over the past few months has been travelling by plane. Yes, it really is fairly quick and easy to get to and from the airport (apart from the time when my airport shuttle bus broke down and I had to buy another plane ticket...), the flights are so quick that you're barely up but you're down, and the prices are not too bad as long as you book in advance. But, preparation for going anywhere requires so much more thought than driving, or even getting a train. I'm sure you can imagine, going to do a jewellery event you need not only all the jewellery you are going to put on display (and more in reserve of course) but props, cloths and supplies - at the very least, tools and basic essentials for making alterations etc. 

For the Scottish Arts Club exhibition, I didn't also have a clear idea in my head of exactly what the space would look like, or how it would be divided up, so I was keen to give myself options of what to put into the cabinet that was my space. This means packing up and preparing is even more tricky, and decisive is not exactly my middle name....Let's just say that over the past year I have become extremely grateful that EasyJet has no weight allowance on their hand luggage! Tools and clothes in the hold, and jewellery, heavy beads and metal findings with me in the cabin. 

I knew my jewellery would be displayed in a tall, slim cabinet and divided up into shelves, and I wanted each section to have a relatively cohesive and harmonious feel, without being too 'matchy-matchy', if you know what I mean! Of course, being me, this meant I had to make a few special pieces just for the event, in the few days before I set up. Nothing like making a rod for your own back!

I wanted to base each section around a 'show-stopper' necklace, and the weekend before set up, I found I needed to come up with one more for the display to be complete. I wanted something special, a little bit different, and wanted to push myself to make something that would really showcase me as a designer, whilst pushing myself just that little bit further....

Here's the result of that 'push' ~ 
Why Did the Dragon Fly?

Did I manage it, do you think? I must admit to being quietly very pleased with this necklace. When you are a mixed-media bead artist such as myself, you do tend towards collecting and hoarding tendencies.....both not bad tendencies, as long as they are kept in check! 
Why Did the Dragon Fly?

For some fortuitous reason, I had brought along a pendant I had long been hoarding saving for the right project - a beautiful porcelain dragonfly wing from Round Rabbit. I also had several of my own handwoven {song}beads in a gorgeous plummy purple, and had acquired some extremely unusual vintage filigree brass rounds, which had developed a delicious natural patina over time.  Add to these a handmade copper daisy clasp, and some of my traditional Czech pressed glass, and you have this pretty special necklace - Why Did the Dragon Fly

Why Did the Dragon Fly?

Of course, I always strive to make my jewellery as good as I possibly can - whether I'm designing large and intricate pieces, or simple, everyday ones. But sometimes, everything just comes together in a way that feels very special....and this necklace is one of those times. I love the idea of someone wearing this pictorial, narrative piece, with the dragonfly in profile, drawn to the pretty pansy blossoms. The dragonfly pendant seems to perfectly, motionlessly  hovering, smelling the sweet flowers....the necklace tells the story of a hazy summer's day with its soft greens, creams and warm purples. 

Here are a few pictures of it - and more of my jewellery! - in situ, in the exhibition at the Scottish Arts Club. 


Unknown said...

Your dragonfly necklace is absolutely beautiful! So beautifully balanced with the various beads and color. You did a wonderful job on your entire display!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Exquisite display, Rebecca :) Thanks for sharing this unique design story!

Mary Harding said...

Your dragonfly necklace is beautiful and a real show stopper. Love the colors, the beads and the design. Just wonderful!!

Kim said...

Your whole display is beautiful and very well done, the dragonfly necklace is so beautiful I don't have words to describe it. LOVE.


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