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**Click here if you looking for the Art Charm Swap.**

This month’s Art Bead Scene Challenge inspired jewellery surprised me a little. Here is the inspiration painting:

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

Initially I focused on the orchid, and made some polymer clay focal beads/pendants inspired by it. I did string one of the orchids, but I figured it either needed something simple or something totally flamboyant. I went with simple since my supplies are still packed.

Orchid Necklace by Cate van Alphen

Orchid Necklace by Cate van Alphen

But then I thought the finished necklace was a bit too simple for a challenge piece.

Hummingbird charmhummingbirdNext I realised that the charm I received from Chris Eisenberg as part of the Art Charm Swap looked like a little hummingbird. I matched the beads and thread to the charm without reference to the painting. I made some polymer clay twist charms which are metallic green – they make me think of wings/leaves/petals. I added some AB coated beads and bright purple thread. The purple thread surprised me until I took another look at the painting and saw the throat of the hummingbird.

The charms are on a macrame cord with knots that twist forming a helix effect. I was thinking about the twist of the hummingbird’s wing as it hovers. I’ve been watching “The Life of Birds” on BBC catchup which has some wonderful slow motion footage of this (28:15).

Hummingbird Bracelet by Cate van Alphen

Hummingbird Bracelet by Cate van Alphen

The bracelet is adjustable with the threads sliding through a central bead. I have left the ends quite long and added a little stack of beads to each so that they flit around the wrist like tiny hummingbirds around a flower.

Hummingbird Bracelet by Cate van Alphen

Hummingbird Bracelet by Cate van Alphen

There we go – Hummingbird Surprise!

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