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Back in 2010 I made my “Imperial Orchid” necklace. I really wanted to explore the idea further, but I never got round to it.

Imperial Orchid necklace by Cate van Alphen

Imperial Orchid necklace by Cate van Alphen

So this month’s Art Bead Scene challenge painting was just the nudge I needed.

Cattelya Orchid by Martin Johnson Heade

“Cattelya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds” 1871 by Martin Johnson Heade
Oil on Mahogany Panel, 34.8 x 45.6 cm

I started off making a pinstripe of magenta and lavender polymer clay as I could see those colours in the petals. Unfortunately the colours ended up too dark for what I was trying to represent from the painting.

Purple pinstripe orchid by Cate van Alphen

Purple Pinstripe Orchid by Cate van Alphen

For the next orchid I made a subtle marbled mix of white and a speck of the previous pinstripe cane. I dusted on the pink using mica powders. I was much happier with these colours, but I preferred the proportions of the previous purple orchid.

White Orchid 01 by Cate van Alphen

White Orchid no. 1 by Cate van Alphen

So I tried again, and made a third orchid…

White orchid 02 by Cate van Alphen

White Orchid no. 2 by Cate van Alphen

This time I was happy with both the colour and the proportions. It seems good things come in threes as today, for the third time, my work was featured on Polymer Clay Daily :). This time it was my Spectrum beads.

Polymer clay orchids

Polymer clay orchid evolution by Cate van Alphen

The outer two of these are now in my Etsy components store. I’m working the middle one into a necklace.