Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hive Queen's New Look

(Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic...)

Some of you may recall way back in 2010 a few posts referring to my new piece, "Hive Queen". I'd gotten an ENORMOUS 156 carat citrine and used some salvaged wings off of an old piece that had been damaged. The piece was completed in 2010 and shown in a few places.


Something about this piece never sat right with me. Not only was I unhappy with the treatment of the citrine, but the wings started to bug me as well.

Since the stone was so outrageous, it took attention away from the carved insect. It almost looked like I just glued the bee on top of it as an afterthought. As for the wings, in real life, queen bees actually have very small wings, much smaller than the salvaged wings from my old piece. And the pierced sterling wings, though lovely on their own, lacked a visual sparkle that would balance the bling-y citrine. What had seemed in my head to be an elegant solution turned out to be rather underwhelming in practice.

So I took her apart.

Re-set the citrine, in a way that was more understated, yet made sense thematically.

Gave a little extra attention to the back of the piece
(including a little baby citrine on the pin finding)

Then let the piece itself dictate the size of the wings. They are proportionally larger than a real queen's would be, but about the same as a normal worker.

And I incorporated mica. This was a suggestion from my boyfriend, who is not an artist but somehow comes up with incredible design ideas anyway. The mica added sparkle and color to the wings while lending the piece the visual fragility I'm fond of. I also popped a little flocking on the the back for some textural contrast.

So here is the final result, lovingly photographed by the talented Ken Yanoviak. The piece I had come to hate has now turned into something I really treasure. The play of colors is so much more compelling, the back of the piece got some love, and the wings are just plain lovely.

You can come see this piece and more at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, November 10th - 13th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Details here:

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