Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

New Year Challenge January 7, 2013

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 3:01 pm

Art Bead Scene is starting off 2013 with another wonderful jewelry challenge.

I haven’t participated in these for a few months, but this month’s art inspiration was just too good to pass up.

jan 2013 - black peacocks with japanese persimmons by jessie arms botke palette

Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons by Jessie Arms Botke

       (color palette added by the talented Brandi Hussey)

About the Art
This is representative of Botke’s detailed, intricate style and her signature gold leaf technique, whereby thin sheets of gold are applied to the canvas or panel. Botke specialized in depicting birds such as peacocks, flamingos, geese and pelicans, often against an imaginary landscape or a background of exotic flowers and plants. As in many of her peacock images, the elaborate tail feathers of the black peacock take up a large portion of the canvas. In 1849, Botke wrote about her fascination with birds, “My interest in birds was not sentimental, it was always what sort of pattern they made.”
About the Artist
Born to English parents in Chicago in 1883, Jessie Arms Botke spent much of her free time as a child sketching and painting. At the age of fourteen, she took art classes at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. When she graduated from high school, she enrolled as a full-time student at the Institute. During her summer vacations she participated in intensive painting workshops in Michigan and Maine, which led to her first exhibition at the Art Institute’s American Annual in 1904. After school, Botke worked in wall decoration and book illustration and refined her skills as a decorative artist. Inspired by an exhibition of friezes, decorations, and tapestries from Herter Looms of New York, Botke moved there in 1911 and immersed herself in the city’s artistic climate. Several years later, she was employed at Herter Looms where she worked on tapestry design, painted panels and friezes, and began to specialize in painting birds.
In 1914, Jessie Hazel Arms met design artist Cornelius Botke in Chicago, and they married a year later. Together, the Botkes worked as artists in Chicago, San Francisco, and Carmel, CA, and they traveled often to New York City and Europe. They both worked on major art commissions and held their largest joint exhibition in 1942 at the Ebell Club, a conservative club for the advancement of women and culture. When Jessie’s eyesight began to fail in 1961, she continued painting small watercolors until surgery and contact lenses restored her vision and she resumed painting full-time. A stroke in 1967 destroyed her ability to paint, and she died four years later at the age of 88.

So many directions to go in this piece…

The feathers on the peacock really caught and held my attention, as well as the golds of the persimmons.

How to capture both of these elements in one piece of jewelry…

And here’s my entry!

Jan. ABS Challenge

The polymer clay beads were made by me and started out life as a small hunk of white clay.

After stamping and baking, they were painted with acrylics in hues of brown, teal, and old gold.

Botke applied gold leaf in her work, so I thought the touches of gold paint mimicked this a little.

 I do like the slight feathery effect of the stamp designs and brass beads seemed to mirror the golden fruit.

Then, using four ply brown Irish waxed linen, the earrings were finished with the brass and glass seed beads.

If you’d like to play along or just enjoy the final reveal day of this month’s challenge,

please go to Art Bead Scene for more information.

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5 Responses to “New Year Challenge”

  1. Fantastic interpretation! Love your polymer clay beads – those are super – and your colors are great, too!

  2. Kashmira Says:

    Wow!!!!!! This is SO beautiful! Love how you’ve added the brass beads to the focal.

    • Hi, Kashmira! Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment. The brass seemed the logical way to go with these earrings to reflect the gold leaf that the artist applied to the painting. But boy, those tiny beads were a pain to string. Only found these few on the string that would fit the waxed cord. Whew!

  3. Pam Farren Says:

    Your polymer clay beads are beautiful and the beads/colors you chose to compliment them really do work! I love the simplicity of your design.


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