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I have finally finished sanding the polymer clay inro that I made for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. I combined this challenge with my personal challenge of making a vessel each week.

Simultaneous Dress by Sonia Delaunay

Simultaneous Dress next to the Simultaneous Car by Sonia Delaunay
Illustrated by George Lepape from January 1925

Polymer clay inro by Cate van Alphen

I had originally intended the inro to be a necklace pendant, but I also wanted it to be big enough to be functional i.e. a key and some cash will fit inside. As a necklace it’s a bit bigger than I’d be comfortable wearing, but I have strung it in a way that allows it to be adaptable… or maybe it just doesn’t know what it wants to become when it grows up.

Inro necklace by Cate van Alphen

Inro necklace by Cate van Alphen

If you pull the two beads below the box the cord can be tied in a knot, shortening the necklace into a strap so it can be used like a purse with tassels below. Similarly it could be tied to a belt using a larks head knot and worn in a more traditional way.

inro by Cate van Alphen

The little red ribbon is actually of vital structural importance and replaces the netsuke in stopping the sliding bead (ojime) from falling off the top of the necklace. It took me nearly a week to come up with that! I wanted something that wouldn’t be uncomfortable at the back of the neck if worn as a necklace. I like the cheeky bit of asymmetry it adds.

Inro by Cate van Alphen