Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The biggest challenge of this project was to create a necklace that was visually substantial enough to support the 6 mm lapis lazuli beads and the pendant while still looking feminine. I tried many different techniques and thicknesses of necklaces. I finally settled on this Nbele herringbone technique. It looks a little different than usual thanks to the inspiration of Beth Stone in her book More Seed Bead Stitching: Creative Variations on Traditional Techniques.
During this last year when virtually my whole life was out of my control the one thing I could control was my response. Buddhist philosophy and practice was my lifeline. It encouraged me to stay in the present, deal with what was immediately in front of me and let the rest go. This necklace is symbolic of many elements of Buddhist practice.
The pendant is of Quan Yin, a Buddhist holy woman, or bodhisattva. Her name means "She who hears the cries of the world." She is considered to be the embodiment of wisdom and compassion, the protector of women, children and fishermen. For some reason it has always delighted me that fishermen are included with women and children as being under her special protection. The four lapis beads on each side represent the Four Noble Truths. Together they equal the Eightfold Path. The three beads at the bottom of the pendant symbolize the Three Precious Jewels. These are all core Buddhist concepts. I chose the lapis lazuli beads because they are representative of healing.
I am quite pleased with the way it turned out. It is much more simple than my January necklace but that is also appropriate to the Buddhist theme.