The Empress series is based upon a necklace I saw in a portrait of Catherine the Great who was wearing a six-strand choker of pearls, with more, longer graduated strands of pearls, that hung to her waist. A the end of the longest strand, was a huge (about the length of my hand!) briolette-cut garnet.
The first one I made was twelve strands of antique hand-faceted Bohemian iridescent jet glass beads, with a variety of silver beads included for accent. It took over ten years to collect the beads, and over six months to figure out how to arrange them so that it was properly balanced. I called it Empress of the Universe, as a friend said she felt like she could rule the cosmos wearing it.
This latest incarnation is not as heavy and ponderous. However the sentiment remains:
Five strands of dyed peacock green potato pearls are hand-knotted with lavish and unusual Moretti 24kt. gold foil accent beads. They are accented by the Chinese champ-levé beads, with rondelles of multicolor Czech crystals. Findings are 14/20 gf.
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