Monday, August 17, 2009


"Princess Emma"
I must admit, I had never heard of the regal hue, aubergine, until Stampington recently issued a call to artists to use this rich hue of purple in a mixed media or paper project for an upcoming issue of Somerset Studio. They asked artists to dig deep into their color palettes to use the color that has inspired royalty through the ages. We might call it eggplant, mulberry, plum, violet, or maybe grape. I call it gorgeous. They submit aubergine to be the queen of the color wheel. Maybe so, but you have to be a
princess before you become the Queen! I am a hard core Etsy buyer. It all began quite innocently. I do occasionally shop on eBay, but Etsy just has more of a draw to me. No bidding....just click and buy.
I began Emma by oxidizing a piece of vintage etched chain. I used 600 grit sandpaper to bring out the highlights in the etching.
I knew I wanted to use the brass pieces I had bought from several Etsy shops, beginning with a connector from Brass Bouquet, as the centerpiece of the necklace. This was also my inspiration for its name, as it was called the Emma filigree connector. Jill's 100% brass is all hand-finished AND made in the USA. This is a huge plus for me~being made in the USA! I decided to oxidize it just a tad more, again using my sandpaper to highlight the high points. I attached it to the top of the chain using two small oxidized jump rings, and just love how it rests there so easily.
Next, I simply began using all of my aubergine colored Swarovski crystals and Czech glass beads. The tulips are marbled glass amethyst beads bought from a new Etsy friend, Gypsy Spirit Studio.
I also added a sprinkle of amethyst nuggets bought from another Etsy favorite, UBB. Her fine gemstones are exquisite.
I did add a few vintage raw brass flower charms, which I also oxidized, from thatsmycharm. A couple of Vintaj natural brass findings bought at a bead shop in Kerrville, and a few Swarovski crystal rondells, which I oxidized.
But, lastly, I have to tell you, Emma truly began with the locket. My friend, Daryl, saw a previous post where I included a picture of the "princess" locket I had added to a necklace for a class proposal. She said she had many chains, and wanted a Princess locket. Yes, Daryl is a Princess!
This gorgeous Trinity Brass Company locket can be bought from Sharon at
Gypsy Spirit Studio. Doesn't it have the most beautiful aged patina? I did not even think about touching or altering it in any way. It is perfect just as is.
But, look inside. A little princess!
I actually had bought a large framed vintage photo of her with thoughts of using it in my class with Stephanie Rubiano. But, I just couldn't take the original frame apart, as it was well bound and I knew I could get a photo of her without dismantling the entire picture anyway....which I did.
I put her inside using The Ultimate Glue, and then gently covered her with a thin covering of mica.
I think I am in love with mica. And, oh yes....aubergine.
p.s. The vintage love letter used above, dated 1935, was purchased thru
Altered Paradise at Regina's Studio.


A bird in the hand said...

Ah, aubergine! It's the French word for eggplant, and while we call it eggplant on this continent, the British have always referred to the eggplant (as in stuffed aubergine baked in tomato sauce!!!) by its French name. Your necklace is just beautiful, and so is the name Emma, which I'm very fond of because it was my mother's name.

Daryl said...

Gorgeous all and I sat and drooled over the slide show ... xoxo

Cindy said...

Hello Diane
Oh what an incredibly scrumptious piece!!! So romantic, and yes fit for a princess!! Thank you for sharing all of the Etsy links...I too like to shop for components there. I'll be busy for a while checking out all of these links!! :-)

sharon said...


Anonymous said...

i call it gorgeous too! it reminds me of amethyst, my birthstone, and i am quite in love! this is so very beautiful indeed! and now i shall go spy on the etsy sellers you mentioned. :)

Narrative jewelry said...

What a really beautiful work. Thank you for sharing with us how this beauty sprang out of your hands. And of course, thanks for the links. Very interesting the way you oxydized the metal pieces. I am very found of patinas...

Funny, because here in France, aubergine is not really this color, it is more violet. And i always asked myself what eggplant will be translated by, for american people.


Susan Sager Brown said...

This is stunning, Diane. xoSusan

Susan Sager Brown said...

This is stunning, Diane. xoSusan

Sharon said...

Beautiful, imaginative necklace-I love all the components you utilized in this piece of art. Thank you for sharing your creative process!

Nerissa Alford said...

wow, gorgeous! I love all the different beads in the same shade. thanks for the supply links. those beads are beautiful & i love brass components.

kayellen said...

so pretty Diane!

Have a great weekend:)


Dale said...

This is so beautiful! I really, really love the design of the main pendant... the brass is gorgeous and it just seems to ooze with beautiful aubergine sparklies. Great job!

diane Schuller said...

so many wonderful things to comment on. Love all the great finds such as the love letter, the locket, and I really enjoy reading about your process.