Art Elements component of the Month blog hop

What do YOU think of when you see/hear the word beetle? Do you think eyeeuuuwwwww, "nasty bug" or "stinky bug" or (God forbid )" a cockroach"? Or do you think of "The Mummy" series of movies where the beetles are swarming all over the bad guys.  yuck!

Now what comes to mind when you see/hear the word "Scarab" ? All things Egyptian?, King Tut?, Nefertiti? Amun -the sun god? Golden icons? Royalty, mystery, other-worldly? Talismans?

Well friends that's what I prefer to think about when I contemplate the difference 
between beetles and scarabs.
As Shakespeare said -"whats in a name ?" A lot , apparently.

Enter the scene - one beautiful , raku colour, glazed ceramic Scarab bead, created by the very talented Sue Kennedy of SueBeads. I was fortunate enough to be gifted with one of these lovelies as part of the monthly challenge with the proviso that I make piece of jewellery and blog about it.

**WARNING** this a really long, wordy post, so feel free to just scroll through the photos, if you're pressed for time.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the bead I received till after I had added a wire bail. So here is the photo from the blog post where Sue offered up one of her beads to the lucky guest blogger(s)  There are three of us. (see the list below) Mine is one of the dark blue ones 

Here it is ready to be linked into my necklace, connector loop on one end, e-bead on the other. 
Now when faced with a challenge such as this, one hopes to do the gift justice. 
To make it the FOCUS of the final piece. 

What if I mess up? 
What if no one likes it? 
What if my muse deserts me midstream?
The AGONY of it all. (can you tell I was a theatre brat in high school?)
Fortunately I had time to mull things over and do a bit of sketching before I started....

I happen to be a lover of all things Egyptian. Have been since I saw the King Tutankhamen exhibit at the Ontario Museum of Art in Toronto Ontario many many years ago. ( so many I truly don't remember what year that was.) I love the Art Deco period for it's rich symbolism, clean-lined designs and it's connection to the discovery of the tomb of King Tut.

I made a piece with polymer clay a few years back when I worked at a bead store,  just messing around with a new- to me -product and made this incredibly boring tan/beige pendant thing. 
(Trying to make some sort of Art Deco palm leaf or lotus leaf. )

Yet again I forgot to take a picture of it before I added colour to it. 
It really was too ugly to take a photo of , that's my excuse. 
It's amazing how paint can transform ugly to pretty. imo.

this is upside down I think I was hoping to make a lotus leaf. two holes for attaching to something.
In case you wonder what goes through a designers mind or the process we use, here is a shot of my work table / bead tray with a selection of potential partners for my scarab bead. Lots of shiny bits to choose from. 

I wasn't certain how I would attach the two main elements of my design together,
 but wire wrapping usually works for me 
gunmetal coloured wire , one of my favourites

When working on a design, in the back of my mind I am thinking about the rest of the necklace (or bracelet) and I was playing around with various options for chain or beaded components.
I will often set up several variations of bead combos to see which one best suits the design. 
Using thin wire keeps them together while I mull things over. 

I was hoping to incorporate another hand-made bead by painting it with the same colours as the polymer clay piece. I love the finished bead but in the end, when editing, I had to remove it. 
It overpowered the scarab bead. 

you can see the large bead I made to go with the other two elements
Here is the final piece. I decided not to create a fully beaded rope/chain necklace but to make several small beaded links connecxted with lengths of antique copper chain. I am quite pleased with it & by using chain for most of the necklace, I can choose at a later date to add the horizontal bead back in. 

 I'm still undecided at this point.

I had fun making this one and I think it will become my personal talisman necklace. 

Thank you for sticking with me till the end of this novel.

To see what the other designers made just click on one of the links below. 


AE Team


  1. Oh, I love your necklace! Your polymer clay pendant works perfectly with the scarab bead with its shape as well as colours! I also think the chain you made works nicely with them without overpowering the pendants :)

  2. A beautifully balanced necklace! What lovely colours

  3. Love your added component that really compliments the scarab bead. I too am a lover of Ancient Egypt, such and interesting culture.

  4. I love it Deb! Very Egyptian! I love your polymer pendant! Thank you so much for showing your process, and playing along!

  5. I love your design! The polymer clay component works perfectly. We were thinking alike for this challenge in using a polymer clay piece to pair with our scarabs;-)

  6. Deb, those two elements go together so well! It is a great necklace.

  7. Beautiful design... Those elements were made for each other!

  8. I love it. It's very reminiscent of Egyptian revival-style jewelry...which I happen to collect. Great job!

  9. You make me want to be a flapper and wear this.

  10. How fortuitous to have that lovely lotus(?) component. It looks amazing with the scarab. I also love how you pulled everything together in the necklace.

    Thanks for participating in the design challenge this month and for reading Art Elements!

  11. Love your necklace Deb - it has a great flow and the components work so well together.

  12. Beautiful! Thank you for playing along with us this month!

  13. Hello - Sorry I am late... I love this - serendipity. It was simply meant to be. We all have treasures in our stash that we save for the right moment... and it was now! Thanks for joining us!


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