Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Juuni Kokuki necklace...

This necklace I finished today was inspired by the Japanese epic anime series, "The Twelve Kingdoms" (Juuni Kokuki), written by Fuyumi Ono. It is a wonderful series and I would recommend it to anyone. The novels are wonderful too. However, only two volumes have been released so far here in our region (and by Tokyopop, of course!).

The necklace is a little tribute to Youko Nakajima, the heroin of the series, coming from Japan (pretty much against her will) to become the Empress of Kei, one of the kingdoms where the story takes place, and which is not located in our physical world.

The predominant colour in my necklace is red, like Youko's hair. And the main bead, a huge cinnabar Chinese carved disc, alludes to the Riboku tree, from where people and magical beasts are born. The story is based in the Chinese (mostly) and Japanese mythology, and is full of action, magic and political intrigue. However, I see all that as a mythical background for Youko's own personal saga: her first steps into adulthood and the changes she has to face in order to become a more assertive and confident young woman - which is comparable to her assuming her role as the Empress in that new world.

Here is Juuni Kokuki...

For Juuni Kokuki I used:

- One large carved cinnabar pendant;
- Ancient gold-plated rondelle at the top of the pendant;
- Small stardust spacers in several sections of the string;
- Chinese cloisonée beads in red and gold;
- Two Japanese Tensha beads;
- Ten small vintage Japanese red millefiori beads;
- Swarovski crystal bicones in shades of ruby red and dorado;
- Fire polished Czech tapered beads;
- Red faux pearls and stardusts near the clasp;
- Antique gold toggler clasp.

Some close-ups below...

On the left, a detail of the cinnabar bead, the large antique gold rondelle to hold the pendant in place and then the stardust spacers intertwined with red Swarovski bicones and followed by the cloisonées. Also visible are the clasp tips, faux pearls and more of the stardust beads. On the right, a close-up of one of the Japanese Tensha beads (acrylic), and more of the bicones. In the background we can peek at the Japanese red millefiori small beads.

Above, the Tensha and the golden and red cloisonées can be seen in more detail, along with the lovely Japanese millefiori, the Dorado Swarovskis and some of the iridescent Czech fire red beads.

And to finalise this post for tonight, another view of the necklace...

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