Homage to Ra Necklace: Inspiration, Trials and Tribulations!


February 21, 2013 by epochbeadsuk

EpochBeads-7322I cannot believe I have finally finished this epic project!! It truly was a labour of love! Anyone who knows me and my passion for making jewellery will know that I love trying out new techniques which usually starts with a Google Images search.  In one such search I found beautiful bead embroidery jewellery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini.  I immediately rushed out and bought their books (shhh hubby doesn’t know!) and was completely in awe of their work and fascinated by the whole process involved.EpochBeads-7357

In a previous life (!) I used to hand embroider wedding dresses for a company in Salisbury, but that was really easy stuff following a simple pattern: surely it couldn’t be that hard to transfer those skills?  Could it??? lol.  I started with a couple of bezelled pendants and thought “right, let’s go for it”.  It didn’t take me long to realise I cant sketch lovely designs lol, (I seem to be permanently stuck at the stick people stage!) but what I can do is visualise a design in my head.

EpochBeads-7367The design had to include some gemstone cabochons, so I decided on Lapis Lazuli just because I like them!  By looking at the shapes of necklaces by Heidi and Sherry it wasn’t hard to come up with the basic shape of the piece. I didn’t use the stiffening and suede recommended by Heidi & Sherry but bought some from Fabricland in Salisbury as I was desperate to get started.Process

I then started to play around with the cabochons on the template to see how they would look and for some reason started to think Egyptian.  I hunted around on Google for Egyptian designs and found a huge poster with the EpochBeads-7346Eye of Ra on it.  I scaled this down and beaded it on a separate piece of fabric in case it all went pair shaped!  I stitched these with tiny size 15 beads and was so shocked at how well they turned out!

I then attached the cabochons, glass scarabs and ‘eyes’ to my shape to give the basic outline of the design. I then thought “HHmmmm Ra the Egyptian Sun God!” I need some kind of sun lol.  That’s when the Swarovski Crystals came out and transformed the piece! I so love a bit of bling!!EpochBeads-7366

it wasn’t all plain sailing! When I attached the cabochons I used the wrong glue and they fell off!!!!!!! That was a tad annoying lol (please use E6000!) I re-bezelled them 3 times before I got them how I wanted! It seemed at one point that I was spending more time unpicking than I was sewing!  My next disaster was when EpochBeads-7365stitching seed beads around the top of the crystal Ravoli’s.  The thread kept rubbing against the edge of the Rivoli and breaking. “Blast!” I said lol, and had to find thicker thread and double it.

Once all the main components were attached I then had to decide on the filling in of the background.  This consisted of me getting every blue and gold seed bead and crystal I had out on the table and them whittling them down to the colours I wanted.  One good thing about making a piece like this is you can use up lots of odd bits & bobs from your bead stash lol.Beads

I thought the filling in stage would go on forever! I took a section at a time made a decision on how to bead it.  When that was done I moved on to another section. I like working like this: just letting the beads take me along with them and seeing what happens.

EpochBeads-7336I then had to attach the backing and give it an edge.  Another book this time by Jamie Cloud Eakin, to learn some edging techniques.  Once I had edged it I then thought it needed something else.  I bezelled my spare Lapis cabochon and decided I would like to put a tassel on. Another book lol: Spellbound Beaded Tassels gave me inspiration and then it was finished! I hung it on my mannequin (called Me-Julie) and cried lol.  I could not believe that after 6 weeks of beading in the evenings in front the TV and at weekends that it was finished!  I immediately took snaps and sent them to family and friends.

My snaps did not do this piece justice, so, for the first time I decided to go to a professional photographer.  More Google and I found Michael Illas.  By the time I got to the photo shoot, I was completely over excited and poor Michael must have thought I was mad! Michael was great, he answered all my questions (of which there were many!) and made the whole experience fun and interesting.  When I received my digital download of the finished photographs I again cried.  I could not believe how beautiful he had made my necklace look. Thanks Michael and I will definitely be returning!

So that is my Homage to Ra necklace: 6 weeks, much chocolate, sewing, unpicking,EpochBeads-7354 the odd swear word, lessons learned, much book reading, excitement, bleary eyes, and contentment! I loved every second of this project and now onto the next piece!

I hope you like it too.



Books & Inspiration

The Art of Bead Embroidery – Heidi Kummli & Sherry Serafini

The Spirit of Bead Embroidery – Heidi Kummli

Sensational Bead Embroidery – Sherry Serafini

Dimensional Bead Embroidery – Jamie Cloud Eakin

Spellbound Beaded Tassels – Jane Ashford









http://www.etsy.com/shop/BumbershootSupplies (Scarabs)

Jackie Moore – Epoch Beads UK



8 thoughts on “Homage to Ra Necklace: Inspiration, Trials and Tribulations!

  1. aidan Mulhall says:

    Having read this blog and knowing Jackie, it shows the determination, dedication and passion that she has.
    If she is going to do something, she does it.
    Well done, stunning necklace well worth all the time and effort you put in!

  2. Judy Hall says:

    Hi Jackie

    Michael Ilias sent me your link because he’s been doing photography for one of my new projects and said you had my Crystal Bible so he thought I’d like to see what you’ve done. I thought I’d let you know that Crystal Bible 3 is out as an ebook on l March and then in paperback later in the year.

    This piece is absolutely stunning and wonderful synchronicity because I’ve just returned from Egypt. If I need jewellery for another book I’ll know where to come!

    With all good wishes
    Judy Hall

    • epochbeadsuk says:

      Judy, thank you so much for your kind comments! I just love gemstones and crystals lol. Perhaps you would like to look at my gemstone jewellery on http://www.etsy.com/shop/epochbeadsuk. I will wait for the paperback as I like to have a book in my hands! My copy of your Crystal Bibles 1 & 2 have pieces of paper, post-it notes and written notes in it as I use it so much! I have learnt so much from you – Thank you xx

  3. sue says:

    Beautiful work to be very proud of!
    Well done Jackie 🙂

  4. Mattie Gadd says:

    Jackie, your work is so amazing!! It is absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations on getting this done. Mattie

  5. kittehluvs says:

    what an amazing, one-of-a-kind piece. It’s really stunning!

  6. I genuinely liked this brilliant short article.
    Please proceed this incredible operate.

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