Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Used The Muse - "In the Seraglio"

The results for Scarlett Lanson's first Use the Muse contest are now up, so I can share my piece with you. I have to admit, I visited the grand prize winner's (Cynthia Newcomer Daniel) blog before the results were posted, and I could tell just from the sneak peek photo she had posted of her piece that I would not be in contention for a prize. It is drop dead gorgeous. Why take my word for it, though? Go view the results here, including all of the lovely winning pieces.

Nevertheless, I had a fun time with this contest. The Muse component was a lovely piece of brass filigree. Brass filigree is not something I usually use - in fact, this was the first time I actually tried to design with a piece of it. I really love that about design challenges - it often forces you to think outside of your usual design box. (And yet the end result was still typical of me. How strange. Hmmm.)

Anyway, this was all a case of serendipity. The ornate filigree reminded me of a harem gate, so I wanted to create a piece that suggested a seraglio. You may recall that I had recently purchased a hoard of resin beads at one of my local bead stores. One of the pieces was a huge cola-colored resin donut. I felt it went beautifully with the brass Muse and decided to pair them up. I glued ornate brass clasps to the back of the donut to act as connectors. The swag at the bottom (which uses the contest kit beads) is suspended from a seven-hole brass end bar. I used orange resin rondelles and Czech glass leaves to suggest miniature oranges. I found a bunch of brass clapperless bells to add a gentle jingle to the piece. I added a different kind of resin - ocean amber - for texture. I finished the piece with big brass barrels, Czech glass and more resin.

The level of this contest was really high - all of the entries are beautiful. In fact, Scarlett has added a Participant's Choice category, and I am having a terrible time narrowing down my choices so I can cast my vote. If you missed entering the contest, there will be another one running in April. Be sure to check Scarlett's blog if you would like to enter.

Thanks for visiting!


Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

I think your piece is fabulous! Thank you for the sweet things you said about mine, but after seeing yours, I'm surprised that I did win. It's just lovely.

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Cynthia, Thank you for visiting! That is very kind of you to say, but I know that there is no comparison! It was definitely a fun challenge.

TesoriTrovati said...

I entered the Use the Muse and it was a great way to kickstart my creativity. I didn't have any delusions of winning but it sure was fun to be associated with so many great beaders. I appreciated that we each had to use our creativity and style to come up with our own pieces based on the kit contents. My piece was called The Invitation and it featured a vintage marble button and a skeleton key. I like the thought process that went into your piece.
Enjoy the day!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Erin,

It was a great contest, wasn't it? I loved seeing the different ways people "used the Muse". I think Scarlett chose a very versatile component for the Muse.

Stephanie said...

I love this piece! Way to break free of the purple design we saw over and over again. I think its just perfect!

The contest was so much fun I hope she does it again. Love your blog.


Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Stephanie! I love the story of Flora and Zephyr that you incorporated into your piece!