Script for a Jester’s tear (Challenge of Music blog hop)

When I signed up at the begining of February to participate in the Challenge of Music Blog hop that Erin of Tesori Trovati is hosting – I knew the devil in me was going to spur me on. To be daring, to be different, to select a song that not only would be an inspiration to me in making a piece of jewelry; but that would represent me in myriad ways to people visiting my blog. Music that was an integral part of who I am, not simply a song I quite like. Go obscure or go home? 

I flashed back to sophomore year in college; drawing 202 – spring semester. Janet Sorensen. I seem to remember that her assignment  was to do a series of drawings, inspired by a work of music? poetry? I decided to select the same song; as it was evocative to me then, and would prove to be in very different ways now. And the contrast of a series of drawings so early in my career to a mixed media necklace now? Interesting to say the least. 

The song was “Script for a Jester’s Tear” by the British band Marillion. A prog-rock band of the 80’s – they were rather obscure then, and even more so now. And yes, I still listen to them regularly. (They are still around, but changed drastically with the departure of singer/lyricist Fish in 1989) The song is also the title of the album; which tells a story of sorts, songs flowing into the next, poetic, dramatic – hard to describe…

Script cover

The jester character is woven throughout Marillion’s 4 albums with Fish. A storyteller, an alter ego… The song “Script for a Jester’s tear” is about loss, leaving, love lost. It is about nostalgia, longing, and regrets. It also evokes growth and maturity, leaving behind of youth’s folly. (Full lyrics here.) 

The fool escaped from paradise will look over his shoulder and cry 
Sit and chew on daffodils and struggle to answer why? 
As you grow up and leave the playground 
Where you kissed your prince and found your frog 
Remember the jester that showed you tears, the script for tears”

Music sketches

Jester WIP

Brass and nickel silver pieces cut and drilled. What to go inside? So much of the album is angst driven introspection, told in the first person. It feels confessional at times –  looking inward, seeing clearly…I have an idea!  And as I listen to the album again and again while I work – I am hearing ( from the song “The Web”)


“I realise I hold the key to freedom 
I cannot let my life be ruled by threads 
The time has come to make decisions 
The changes have to be made

Now I leave you, the past does have it’s say 
You’re all but forgotten a mote in my heart 
Decisions have been made, decisions have been made 
I’ve conquered my fears…”


Jester keys

But I needed color. I wanted to reference the fool’s motley, jewel tones, diamond patterned… I thought enamel but decided to truly challenge myself with a new technique. Colored pencil on metal… I googled, and talked to my go-to-gal Cooky… After cleaning the metal and de-greasing it from oils, I painted it with gesso. (Patina can work but gesso is bright white as a primer as opposed to green patina…) Then I colored it. Berol Prismacolors are recommended as they are waxier than other brands. You can blend with turps, sand and do multiple layers… I just did one. It was so stark and intensely colored. I admit I was (unpleasantly) surprised. But after a bit of sanding – I was more satisfied… (resources here and here…)

Jester with color

I plan to experiment more with this technique and have ordered black gesso to try as well. Just now seeing the irony as I write the post. My original “Script for a Jester’s Tear” drawings in college, in the 80’s – they were in Berol Prismacolor as well. And I didnt realize that consciously until this second… My road has come full circle…

Jester finished

The pendant: brass and nickel silver shrine/frame. Engraving from late 1800’s art text. Antique key. Sterling, moonstones, smokey quartz, pearls. Assembled with micro bolts. 

Jester full view

The necklace: Sterling cones. SP chain. Irridescent seed beads to echo the colors of the pendant. Simple clasp. ( I routinely use simple closures to keep the necklace comfortable while worn.) approximately 24″. 

This whole challenge was very invigorating. I am intrigued by a new technique and plan to try it agin. I enjoyed the nostalgia and memories that I stirred up, reflecting back to my years in art school, my own feelings of leaving youth, loss and growth. I am proud of the road – with its obstacles and triumphs – that I have travelled as an artist since those formative experiences as an art student.

In fact – I did a second piece inspired by the same album… but that will have to wait until tomorrow! You have other blogs to visit! Thanks for staying with me – I know this post was epic. I would love to hear your thoughts on the necklace, and if there are any other Marillion fans out there…

Here are my fellow bloggers participating in the “Challenge of Music”: 


Erin Prais-Hintz

Marcie Abney

Christine Altmiller

Elisabeth Auld


Lori Bowring Michaud

Shannon Chomanczuk

Cece Cormier

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Malin de Koning

Beth Emery

Michelle Escano-Caballero

Erin Fickert-Rowland

Therese Frank

Amy Freeland

Tanya Goodwin

Stephani Gorman

Amy Grass

Beth Hemmila

Kristina Johansson

Jennifer Justman

Tari Kahrs

Susan Kennedy

Ema Kilroy

Kathleen Lange Klik

Kirsi Luostarinen

Paige Maxim

Beth McCord

Natalie McKenna

Alice Peterson

Cat Pruitt

Bobbie Rafferty

Johanna Rhodes

Cynthia Riggs

Sally Russick

Sarah Sequins

Amy Severino

Staci Smith

Kristen Stevens

Lola Surwillo

Stefanie Teufel

Sandi Volpe

Holly Westfall

Shaiha Williams

40 thoughts on “Script for a Jester’s tear (Challenge of Music blog hop)

    • jenny says:

      Thanks Patti – I am so blushing right now! Thanks for coming over! I look forward to hopping after my shift in the ceramics studio this morning!


  1. Alice says:

    I love that your piece was created from a memory in your past. Your necklace is fantastic, and I’m amazed at that focal, especially since it was a new technique for you, and you nailed it!


  2. Holly says:

    Jen, I love the music you’ve chosen for this challenge! It brings me back to my high school days šŸ˜‰ And your pendant and necklace are spectacular! The colors are luscious and the feel of the whole piece is amazing. And on a side note – aren’t Prismas the best?? šŸ˜‰


    • jenny says:

      Heavens I love a blog hop! Great to “see” you all here! Holly – dont know about you but “Kayleigh” takes me right back! And yes, Prismacolors are sent from the Muse herself!


  3. Beth says:

    I love the piece you created and love the creation process you showed us. It is so cool you tried something new for this challenge too. I also have never heard of using colored pencils on metal, so that was neat to learn. I love how you combined it all together into an awesome piece!


    • jenny says:

      Thanks! I look forward to trying more color in metal… I think there will be good info in Hettmansperger’s new book also! I want to do a few test pieces and see how stable the technique is before I use it in a piece to sell. I dont want it to be so fragile as to scratch…


  4. Shaiha says:

    I just loved your piece but even more then that I loved how your chose a song from your past. Talk about illustrating how life comes back around.


  5. Mary Layton says:

    How cool to find that you’re a Marillion fan! We’re scarce enough as it is here in the states, but I think those of us of the female persuasion are even rarer!

    Love what you’ve done with the inspiration of the tune, and looking forward to seeing the second piece! šŸ˜€


    • jenny says:

      Mary! Hello – thanks for reading! I knew this post would bring die hard fans out of the woodwork! Altho it was never the same after Fish left…


      • Mary Layton says:

        I know….they’re still good, but they just don’t have the emotional impact for me that they did when Fish was with them. He’s still recording, too, and I have more of his solo stuff than I have of the current Marillion stuff. I think I’ll go have a listen to some of the old stuff, now…. šŸ˜€


  6. Jennifer says:

    I have never heard of this band before, but now I am eager to hear more šŸ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing your technique!! I LOVE seeing your process it is incredibly fascinating and wonderful! And oh my, I love the finished piece, it is so evocative and thoughtful and… perfect for the song.


  7. Beth Hemmila says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this song and its lyrics with me! I lost the jester in my life last year and the words say so much for how I’ve been feeling. I love how you chose an eye and a key for the symbols. Two very powerful messages!! Love to see your work. xoxo Beth


    • jenny says:

      Thank you Beth – it is a heavy heart wrenching song, and has always struck a powerful chord with me. And inthe album there are notes of hope and resolution… some of which show up in tomorrow’s Part 2… Nice to “see” you again. Been a while…


  8. beth emery says:

    wow. your piece is gorgeous! i love love love that used the same song. it’s cool to see our growth and the different ways we respond to the same thing, years apart. do it again in another ten years! i’ve heard about coloring with prismas on metal but never tried. too bright, huh? that can be a little scary, but i think your focal is wonderful. sanding saves the day, yet again.


    • jenny says:

      Thanks Beth – I have to confess – I still have the series of drawings from over 20 years ago. I wasnt willing to post pix bc they are so “of the past” to me. They are naive, not terribly well executed, and I love them and am simultaneously embarassed by them. So they are for my eyes only…


  9. maneki says:

    Very nice necklace! I especially love the pendant and the colouring (been meaning to try pencil on metal for a long time and seeing this inspires me to actually get around to it and get some colour pencils).

    I also really enjoyed reading the post and seeing pics of the whole process. Thanks for sharing!


  10. LJ says:

    Such a great piece that you have created and I agree with the other comments – it’s very interesting to see the process.
    I’m now going to check out more Marillion… šŸ™‚


    • jenny says:

      I didnt embed a video b/c they were all SO 80’s. And the concert videos are a bit over the top melodramatic. And thats coming from a fan. Listen. You dont have to look at them… <smile>


  11. Erin Prais-Hintz says:

    Miss Jenny- this is just marvelous. You really thought about this challenge, let it seep into your soul. I am delighted that you were spurred to try new techniques. That makes it even more special. There is a depth of feeling in these lyrics, and I quite suspect that what you took from them in your youth is different where you are at now. I love that about music, that it can stir in you feelings you never knew you had and can bring you back to a time and place so readily. I can’t wait to come back tomorrow and see what else you made and I will surely be looking for more experiments with this technique in the future!

    Thank you so much for playing with me on this challenge. Enjoy the day!


    • jenny says:

      Erin – you are so right. The lyrics are as different inmeaning now – as I am different in person. It was a pleasure to immerse myself in the album with a reason… Cant wait to hear your thoughts on the second offering… Thanks for hosting! It has been wonderful to hop with old friends, and make new. 


  12. Pixiloo says:

    I had never heard of Marillion until this post, but I am having a blast listening to them on youtube. Your focal is awesome and I love seeing your process. You should feel proud wearing that piece, it’s just to die for.


    • jenny says:

      Glad you are liking the videos. Some are so dated, the rocker mullets, the attire… but I still love the music and the poetry.  Hope I have somewhere to wear it soon, thank you for your kind words!


  13. Adlinah says:

    Oh my gosh! Marillion! Good to know there are pp out there who remember them. I remember listening to Kayleigh and liking it a lot. And didn’t they do Lavender Blue? I loved reading the story behind your piece – which is lovely, btw.


    • jenny says:

      Yes! You are remembering correctly! Lavendar precedes Kayleigh on the album. Knew there were other fans out there! Thanks!


  14. Therese says:

    I love your pendant and necklace it is so unique and a work of art. So much thought and planing went into this piece. I got a kick out of your realization of the sketches from your college days of this similar piece.


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