(This is my ACC project, just renamed and slowly continued...)
I've always loved the belt on my inspiration portrait:
It was the first time I'd ever seen a cameo in 1500s Italian jewelry, which was really exciting for me because I love seeing how the same themes/styles are repeated in Italy through the centuries. Cameos were popular during Roman times, usually depicting deities and emperors/empresses. They phased in and out of use over the centuries, but they never disappeared completely. Even though I can't see who is depicted in this cameo, it seems to have the classic styling of a Roman cameo. For my belt, I chose a mother-of-pearl cameo and set it into a gold plated setting:
Another fun element in this belt are the two little faces on either side of the cameo. I like to think that they are lion's heads, since the symbol of Venice is St. Mark's winged lion:
None of the pictures that I could find of this portrait showed the whole tassel at the end of the drop. This is frustrating because I wasn't sure what to make. Finally, I found a picture that showed probably half of it, so I had something to work with! I still couldn't tell if the tassel was made from metal, metal thread, or silk thread, so I decided to just have fun and make something that looked similar but let me play with beaded netting, something I don't get to use often enough, in my opinion! :) I netted metal beads and Swarovski crystals around a German crystal drop for the top of the tassel, then made a kind of multi-layer frame for the chain part to hang from. I incorporated red Swarovski crystals into the outside layer of chain to mimic the gems on the portrait's tassel. Here are a few pics of the construction of the tassel:
All the bits and parts, including the completed netted crystal drop:
The first, inner layer:
The second, middle, layer. This is made up of several simple chandelier findings layered into a circle arrangement:
The third, outside, layer. Here I attached chain around the edges of a round filigree finding. I also added Swarovski crystals to the edges of the filigree:
Threading the three layers together along with the netted drop:
The completed tassel. There are several things that I'd do differently if I make another chain tassel like this, but overall I'm pretty happy with it!
The drop and waist portions were pretty straightforward stringing. I used bead caps and findings with Swarovski crystal to approximate the feel of the portrait's belt. I really love the way this belt turned out! It has a wonderful, heavy feel to it, and a ton of sparkle without being gaudy. I'm hoping Noelle and I get my new gown done before Collegium so I can wear it!
pictures of me wearing my new set (belt, earrings, necklace) with the gown she's sewing for me (which I absolutely LOVE!).