As soon as I saw this month's inspiration from Sarajo's husband, Eric, I knew it was my jam. A fern growing out of a crack in an ancient lichen-covered wall? Yes, please! Sarajo shares these photo inspirations from Eric each month and calls it the Honey Do List Challenge. I love that she opens it up for the rest of us to participate. It always gives me a kick in the pants and makes me think out of the box. While the picture was totally my jam, I absolutely struggled to incorporate it into jewelry, finally settling on an idea at the very last minute.
Digging through my artist-made components for an idea, I unearthed a green-glazed ceramic charm. I believe it's from Gaea, back when she had Gaea Exchange. The botanical element on it reminded me of the fern. I just needed to make a base of stone and lichen for it.
That process started with a bit of fabric. I actually used white fabric with bows and dots on it. Because of my fold, you thankfully can't see the bows. (What can I say, I like using what I have on hand.) I dyed that fabric with a series of sprays in black, brown, and green that I heat-set. To add a little lightness back into the fabric and give it the dappled feel of the lichen, I added a short length of ecru-colored lace trim.
These two were folded in half, and sewn together at the top for security. From there, I fussed with a square of tin that was colored with Vintaj Patinas to get just the right color and feel of the stone. At one point in that process, I thought I was going to scrap the whole idea altogether. It was a mess. But, I persisted and eventually punched holes, bent the tin, created a wire loop at the top, and attached the ceramic charm.
To complete the necklace, coordinating beads in glass, crackled agate, brass, and bone were selected and wired together with antiqued brass wire. A long length of antiqued brass chain finishes out the piece.
I'm so glad I persisted and made this necklace work. Granted, I've made other pieces in a similar style, but so much of this one was tailored just for the inspiration. I know I wouldn't have come up with this unique combination without Eric and Sarajo. Thanks goes out to the two of them. Make sure to head over to SJ Designs Jewelry to see what Sarajo made, along with any other artists who also participated.