Monday, August 13, 2007

Love looks not with the eyes

...Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once:
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.

So says Oberon to his minion Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". As Oberon desired, the little purple flower caused Titania to fall in love with an ass and also caused the lovers, Demetrius and Lysander, to dote madly on a poor, confused Helena. Because the small purple bloom is so central to the story, and because I love the name "love-in-idleness", I thought it would make a nice focal for a necklace.

In fact, love-in-idleness is actually one of the old, romantic names for the wild pansy. I have used a little creative license in this regard, as the flower bead in the pendant does not really look like a pansy. As it happens, I had ordered the bead from Maria Grimes of Garden Path Beads a day before Art Bead Scene announced the subject of the August Design Challenge. I originally thought I would try to make a pansy out of resin, but Maria's bead arrived the day I started working on the mold for the pansy - I thought the little flower was so attractive, I decided to use it instead. Thank you, Maria!

The clasp that finishes the piece is stamped with the first part of one of the more famous quotes from the play: Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. Because the flower was applied directly to the eyes and caused the recipient to fall in love with the first person he or she saw, I thought the quote was an appropriate reminder of where true love actually lies.

As usual, I made the pendant and toggle clasp from PMC3. I added purple seed beads and Czech pressed glass leaves, green Swarovski crystals and green resin beads. I seem to be having trouble customizing the size of my photos in this blog. If you want a closer view, please click on the photo, and it will take you to a larger version in my flickr account.

To be perfectly honest, I usually don't design or wear traditionally floral pieces, and, as a result, I am a little bit on the fence about this necklace. However, the necklace design seemed appropriate for "A Midsummer's Night Dream", and I hope that I've finished it in a way that remains true to this theme. Thanks for stopping by!

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