I just returned from a vacation with my husband to visit friends in the Washington D.C. area and I certainly found some inspiration along the way! On our first full day in town we ended up making a visit to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. Truth be told, we were anxiously awaiting word on our luggage that had taken an unplanned overnight in New York City due to Delta's major network and weather issues. We didn't want to go too far afield so this was a great way to spend the morning before meeting our friend for lunch. (Don't worry, we did get our bag that day, but had to return to the airport to do so!) The day was a bit chilly and windy, but Eric and I still had a wonderful time traipsing around the gardens.
One of the areas of the gardens of particular interest, and my inspiration for this post, is the Korean Bell Garden. This garden area was created via a joint effort between NOVA Parks and the Korean American Cultural Committee... starting with the original proposal in 2007. The centerpiece of this garden is the bell itself. It's called the Bell of Peace and Harmony and was cast by one of the best bell makers in Korea in a way that has been used for centuries. The bell features traditional Korean images as well as images symbolic of Virginia. The surrounding pagoda structure was built completely by hand using traditional methods. The area around the bell pagoda features replicas of ancient Korean monuments and statues, walls and stone structures adorned with traditional Korean symbols, and a flowing water way.
|Photo by Eric Wentling|
As we circled through the gardens I took several detail photos of artwork from the walls as well as the bell itself and combined them into a collage to share on Instagram. Seeing those images together is what clicked into place for me... a lightbulb went off in my head and I knew that there was jewelry to be made from this inspiration!
The muted colors and the butterflies in the bottom right panel made me think of a ceramic pendant by White Swan Illuminations that I picked up at Allegory Gallery last summer. I wanted to capture the idea of the flowers but didn't want to add a lot of color... I had two sizes of white/ivory Czech glass flowers that perfectly fit the bill! I added in links made with Bronzite, Dalmation Jasper, as well as some other Czech glass beads in an asymmetrical design. The finishing touch is a tiny brass butterfly charm hanging off the back of the clasp.
Since my first design was so monochromatic, I wanted to do something with a touch more color. I had the perfect Humblebeads forget me not pendant in my stash to do the job! I had just bought a few strands of Czech glass spacer beads in a mix of muted pastels that I knew I wanted to use. I gathered some other Czech and vintage German glass beads as well as some pearls for this strung design. This necklace is more about the colors in the two floral panels from the wall in the garden as well as the floral motifs from the bell itself.
Thanks for stopping by to check out my designs inspired by what I found in my everyday! I hope you'll take a moment to stop and see what inspiration is waiting around you!