Crystal Skull brooch

A friend of my mom had asked me to make a turquoise necklace and earring set for her and yesterday while I was there showing her the samples of the things I had made for her and she asked me why I liked skulls so much. I have thought about this so much, because I don’t like anything gory, or scary but I keep getting asked why I like things with skulls on them and I really have no answer for it.

I really don’t know why I like them so much. All I know is that I liked skulls way before I started worshipping anything Alexander McQueen makes with skulls. I find it a little odd that my family and friends prod me this much about my love of skulls saying weird things are but you are so normal why would you like skulls, as if people that like skulls are in someway abnormal! But I have stopped trying to explain why I like things with skulls on them. I think it’s a same as someone liking pastel florals. I don’t like floral patterns in general (unless they are very sharp and modern which is rare but it happens) but then I wouldn’t go around and say “seriously what do you see in florals, florals are frumpy!

But it’s a matter of opinion and taste and we are all entitled to them. But for this piece I had an agenda. I had been thinking about how feasible it was to make a bead embroidered piece while incorporating small cutouts in the process.

For this piece I went with an image by Tom Bagshaw titled “Lucky 13”. The beading design mimics the flourish that is drawn underneath the skull. I did a couple of sketches to get the placement and the sizing of the curlicue design right so that when the beading was being done it would look continuous.

I also had to plan out the size of the cut-outs to keep them to a size big enough where I could go in with scissors and make the cuts and have it make the impact I want as well as for it to be small enough to be cohesive with the piece.

As you can see it is doable but I did find it difficult to cut into the piece and be aware not to cut any of the threads. I took my time cleaning the edges and getting as close as I could to the edges when I was making the inside cuts.

Once it was done I drew the outline on my Ultrasuede so I could make the cuts before gluing the suede to my piece which made things a lot easier and only had to do a little it of touch ups to get just right.

To clean up the edges I went around the piece with size 11/0 seed beads but I used size 15/0 for the edges of the cutouts. I did a crazy stacked edging on the top part and if that wasn’t enough I went with a dangly Swarovski crystal on the bottom.

Even though I know skulls are not really something most of you guys are into, I still hope you enjoyed the piece! 😀


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch

5 responses to “Crystal Skull brooch

  1. I’m not a big fan of skulls on things, even though I look like I should do! But hey, each to their own. I like the detailing that you’ve got with this piece, and I like the fact that the skull is pastel and quite delicate 🙂

    • From what i know about you through your wonderful blog i could see how skulls are not your thing even though as you say you do look like you would be into them ! Skulls are one of those things that people either love or hate. And to be honest even though i love skulls i only have a few skull accessories and that is it.
      I thought the idea of pastels and skulls was weird , usually with skulls i would go with black/reds/gold and i think the reason why i went with this skull rather than any other skull image i had was because it was just so different , soft and delicate which is not something that is ever associated with skulls 🙂

  2. This is a fantastic piece! I love how you explore what is usually depicted darkly (a skull) amongst lighter, pastel beads. Usually you’ll see it surrounded by black and occasionally a black and red combination

    This provides a lovely contradiction.

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment. I was adamant about doing something contradictory in a way and this image provided the right foundation to start with. I am glad you enjoyed the piece!

  3. shelley

    LOVE THIS! Can I order one?
    Please contact me. 😉

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