Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Inspired by Reading Book Club An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

For the month of May, we read An Object of Beauty for our Inspired By Reading Book Club.  It is a fast moving and very entertaining book by one of my favorite actors, Steve Martin.  It takes place in New York City and is about the art world:  galleries, auctions, artists and money.  The setting was nostalgic for me as I lived in New York City for seven years around the time I attended college there.  I was inspired by the main character, Lacey's purchase of Andy Warhol's painting Flowers.  A photo of the work in also in the book as well as quite a few other works of art.

I have always like  Andy Warhol's work and had just the right pieces to make a necklace reflecting on this painting.  I had a number of steel flowers and a necklace form that I had been dying to use.  I had recently discovered that these steel pieces that I had acquired from Objects and Elements going out of business sale could be soldered to brass or copper with soft solder.  So I decided to give it a try.

I love the way they turned out.  A bit offset to one side but the solder just gave the flowers the grungy touch that I was looking for.
Once I had the flowers in place I found a great bulky chain to string them on. And then I found myself in a dilemma:  where would the clasp look best?  In front or back.  I had thought that the clasp in front would give the necklace an asymmetrical look and that would help with the flower placement that was not quite centered.  Not so sure.

So then I tried it with the clasp in the back.  For while I thought I liked that best.

And now I am not so sure once again.  Any suggestions?

I still love the flowers and know that I will have fun wearing this necklace whichever way it ends up.  

Now I hope you will take a look at what the other's created.  They are listed HERE on Andrew Thornton's blog, our wonderful host.  Thanks once again Andrew for making this all happen each month.
Note:  Andrew is traveling to the Bead and Button Show today in Milwaukee so he may not get the blog post on until later today.)

I have updated the link to Andrew Thornton's blog post so that now you can read what he wrote for the blog hop!!

After Reading the comment below from Backstory Beads, I decided to give the clasp another try.  I changed it a bit by adding some silver to it to tie in with the flowers.  Here is how the necklace looks now:
picture taken inside with flash  brings out the true color in the necklace

picture taken outside with natural light

another view with natural light

I think this will be the final version.  Thanks so much for looking.


  1. I loved The Pleasure of My Company, and am intrigued by a novel with some art history, so Im putting this one on my summer reading list! After all, it inspired this great design. I am so intrigued by this piece! I found that the asymmetrical placement of the clasp did two things: it kept me engaged longer and it brought just the right color balance to the design. With it in front, I noticed a lot more of the color nuances in each flower. Definitely the front!

  2. Thank you so much for giving me such helpful feedback!! I have since given the clasp a bit of a makeover and tried again. I like the results!! Thanks so much!!

  3. That piece is so cool, Mary! Love the slightly grungy look of the steel and the chunky multiple chain strands. I think I liked the clasp in the back better, for me it doesn't have quite enough heft for the front, although I like the assymmetrical thing. I could see a smaller version of the steel flower instead of the spiral. But either way it's a fab effort. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks so much Christine. I had been thinking that too about the clasp. I may try making another one out of a heavier gauge wire. I am wearing the necklace right now and feeling pretty perky. It goes on easily and is surprisingly light weight!! Thanks again for your design help!! Most appreciated!!

  5. Great piece and ties into the book very well. I like the clasp better in front and like how you added the silver.

    I must be in the minority regarding the book, as am having a hard time finishing it and may not. But did love the art work.

  6. I love your translation of the Warhol piece! The grungy flowers are great! It is a very fun necklace, and I like the clasp in the front where it ended up.

  7. Mary - I see a few of us had the same inspiration!
    It's always so much fun to see how it's interpreted by different artists.
    I love your necklace! And I think your final revision is best!

  8. I like your second take at the clasp in front...I think it's the winner! Love your interpretation of Flowers, those steel flowers are awesome!

  9. How cute! I love flowers :-)

  10. A very artistic piece, I like what you did here.

  11. I am late to the party in commenting! I read everyone's post on the train and I tried commenting, but it doesn't look like it went through. :-(

    Thanks so much for participating! I always love seeing what you make! This is awesome! And I love how you then transformed it again. Often times things that I make get that treatment, where if they are around and given more thought and time, I alter them and fix them up. The flowers have such a bold and iconic presence and I think you've captured that beautifully there. I love the soft solder "rusticification". Oh and I was sad to hear that Objects and Elements was closing. Linda always had unique and interesting things, but you never know where the road will take you.

    Thanks again for participating and I apologize for the tardy comment! Keep up the good work, yo!


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