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The {Challenge of Music} Blog Hop-2012

Welcome to the "Challenge of Music" Blog Hop!

I am a music-aholic, so I jumped at the chance to challenge myself to design a piece of jewelry that was inspired by a favorite piece of music.  This was a brilliant idea of Erin Prais-Hintz, who initiated the challenge and organized about 50 other designers to join her for this rockin' blog party!

One of my very favorite genres of music is Classic Jazz.  I will unabashedly say that Jazz is truly one of the best creative gifts that the United States has given to world culture.  Listening to musicians play the sax, trumpet, piano, bass and drums in this improvisational style gets my creative juices flowing!

For my inspirational piece, I chose "Take Five" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. This piece was written by Paul Desmond and performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet on their 1959 album "Time Out".  If you aren't familiar with this song, check out this 1966 live performance in Germany:

Of course, I am also extremely partial to the album's artwork  This amazing painting by S. Neil Fujita was created specifically for this album.  Fujita headed up the design department of Columbia Records, who was in hot competition with Blue Note Records to create unique album cover art.  I just love this colorful, graphic, and energetic style of abstract art!

Cover art for Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out, 1959. Columbia Records by S. Neil Fujita
(source: Mid-Centuria)

So with the goals of improvisation, graphic, colorful, and abstract, I took a major leap out of my comfort zone and created the 

"Take Five" Art Necklace...

"Take Five"Art Necklace

"Take Five" Art Necklace

"Take Five"-Clasp/Focal detail 2

"Take Five"Clasp/Focal detail
"Take Five"-Swirled"Take Five"On Mannequin

This necklace features a handmade focal of hammered and wrapped steel wire, size 8 Copper seed beads, and 4mm Cobalt crystal rondelles.  I've strung a large collection of my handmade polymer Gypsy Trade Beads in Orange and Yellow {with a small pop of three Blue}.  Black and White trade beads, Burgundy Chinese crystals, small Hematite rounds, and Copper seed beads complete the strand.  Beaded loops of Red Coral peanuts and size 8 Copper seed beads surround Mod acrylic triangles, and are linked to the focal and beaded strand with beaded loops of size 11 Copper seed beads.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this process of turning a piece of music that inspires me into a piece of wearable art! Much thanks to Erin Prais-Hintz for organizing us and inspiring us to grow creatively!

Please Keep Jammin' Along with More Designers Sharing Their Music Inspirations:

Erin Fickert-Rowland (<---you are here)

31 Responses so far.

  1. Courtney says:

    What a great necklace! I love the color and flow. Thank you.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Yes, the colors are aaaaaamazing!

  3. Holly says:

    Erin, my husband is a big fan of classic jazz too, and so I've gotten to appreciate it more than I did when I was younger. It's amazing, soulful sounds are just so intense.

    Your necklace is just incredible! It's so full of motion and joy, and totally gives the same vibe as the song. That pendant/clasp is amazing.

  4. Kristen says:

    That necklace *swoon* that all I can say!

  5. Fabulous Necklace! Love the colors and abstract feel..

  6. Great movement and color in your necklace. Like that somewhat abstract focal too.

  7. Alice says:

    Where would we be without JAZZ!!! In our little town we are so lucky to have a high school jazz band, and my children are a part of it. I love going to their concerts, and love that these kids are learning a bit of history, and experiencing a different culture.

    Your necklace is fabulous! I love the color and movement of the piece!

  8. steufel says:

    That is sooooo cool! Love it! And thanks again for making this cute little bird, that was the perfect fit for my sing in this challenge!

  9. Your Necklace is JAZZ all the way! When I hear Jazz, your necklace is what I see in my head~swirling and twirling and vivid colors bursting out, but all being kept grounded somehow. Jazz seems to bring about great Art. They go hand-in-hand. But reading to it is impossible-I read the same darn line over and over again! Beautiful and creative necklace, My Friend! Great Work!

  10. Amy says:

    This screams Jazz! And your idea to take more of your inspiration from the cover art was brilliant - and you nailed it!

  11. Love the color and the design that matches the cover art of the album. What a wonderful way to capture the music!

  12. Cynthia says:

    You've really captured the music and the album cover artwork. Love the wire work focal!

  13. Erin! I looove that song already. The whole album really. I also am a big fan of that kind of music. However I started to explore it deeper only a few years ago. And I suspect that there is still a lot left for me to discover. I have only scraped the very surface yet. I would love to get some personal recommendations from you. Let's stay in touch about that. :-)

    And I looove your necklace! It is beautiful and exciting. Just like the music.

    The art piece is great of course.

  14. What a fun, colorful and funky necklace! You did a great job stepping outside your comfort zone.

    -- Sarah

  15. LJ says:

    I think I may have studied this piece as part of my A-level music - that took me back a few years!!
    I love the saxophone and the thing that amazes me about jazz is the confidence that musicians have to improvise.

    Love necklace - I agree with the other comments, the colours are stunning!

  16. Jenny says:

    The necklace is cool. Smooth and cool like classic jazz. Completes the trio: song, cover, necklace. I wonder what your necklace may have looked like without the iconic album cover as an influence?

  17. Wow that painting for the album cover is amazing piece of design! Love you chose jazz and this is probably one of my favorite pieces in a genre that I struggle with :) The necklace you created just blows me away and has inspired me to see jazz as way to paint with color in your design. Thank you for challenging me in a whole new way! xoxo Beth

  18. Thank you all so much for your kind comments! I truly appreciate all the compliments, encouragement and feedback!

  19. Oh Erin!!! I LOVE jazz, love! I was in jazz choir in high school for three years and it was my life! What a fantastic choice for inspiration and wow did you nail it! Love the piece, love everything, love you! LOL

  20. Maneki says:

    Lovely, jazzy necklace -- I really like the wirework focalpiece!

  21. Oh yeah! That is what I am talking about! I love this Miss Erin! My parents are big fans of jazz and in particular Dave Brubeck. I know they will love to see this, so I will send them a link (if they can figure that out!). This necklace based off the artwork is a marvelous interpretation. I see the shapes and the colors but also the interplay of the elements as they move in and out of one another the same way the different instrumentalists weave their music around each other. I want to come and play in your studio! I am totally blown away. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us and joining me on this most fun hop!
    Enjoy the day!

  22. Lola says:

    Wow Erin ... that necklace is stunning! My son plays piano in a jazz band at school, so I'm learning to appreciate it more these days. Luckily I don't need to know much about jazz to appreciate all the levels of awesomeness that is that beautiful necklace!

  23. Emakaye says:

    Fantastic! I can completely see and feel the jazz in your work! I love it. You brought the music and the artwork together in one beautiful necklace.

  24. Oh Erin! I love jazz and this necklace that you created so beautifully just flows like the smooth rhythm of the song!! The colors! The beads! Such a gorgeous work of wearable art!!

  25. Pixiloo says:

    That is truly an amazing work of wearable art. I love all the funky circles and colors and shapes. I love jazz also and that necklace just seems to be bop along with the music. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Erin, I love the song you chose and I am totally jammin to it right now. I love the abstract design of your necklace it truly represents the abstract sound of classic jazz. Smokin'!

  27. What an incredibly fun necklace! I love the colors and different elements and the design is really fantastic! Compliments the album artwork perfectly.

  28. pam says:

    I am sitting here in awe! How did you do it? Your necklace is a perfect representation of one of my most favorite pieces of music ever.

    Who can listen and sit still? And that inevitable motion is reflected in your necklace design - so full of rhythm and movement and spirit.

    Well done you!

  29. Rebecca says:

    Very. very cool! Wow. You have really captured the spirit of the piece in your necklace. Awesome! It is so full of colour and texture, really beautiful.

  30. Very cool intrepretation of the music! Love it!

  31. says:

    I loooooove jazz. :-D And I am also a musical aficionado, so I just love this project that encourage people to create something out of musical piece. Incredible!

    And your necklace is awesome, Erin. I can defenetely see how you captured the essence of Jazz with the beads. :)

    Great work!

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