She was only dreaming… (Music Challenge part2)

Yesterday was the reveal of the Challenge of Music blog hop hosted by Erin of Tesori Trovati. I spent quite a bit of time listening and working to Marillion over the last month as I worked on my piece, and other things in the jewelry studio. My ideas from the album “Script for a Jester’s Tear” were more than I could fit into 1 piece, so I have a second offering inspired by my favorite song onthe album – “Chelsea Monday”. 

Dreaming sketch and metal

The sketches for a 2 part setting to house a plastic lens. 

test fit lens

Test fit of the lens in its copper tabs. Metals stapled together in the back. 

dreaming pendant

The pendant: hammered copper, brass, Gilder’s paste. Image transfer of labyrinth and wisps of wool roving in the plastic lens. 

Chelsea Dreaming

The finished necklace: moonstone briolette, vintage copper chain and aquamarines. 

Here are the lyrics: 

Catalogue princess, apprentice seductress 
Hiding in her cellophane world in glitter town 
Awaiting the prince in his white Capri 
Dynamic young Tarzan courts the bedsit queen

She’s playing the actress in this bedroom scene 
She’s learning her lines from glossy magazines 
Stringing all her pearls from her childhood dreams 
Auditioning for the leading role on the silver screen

Patience my tinsel angel 
Patience my perfumed child 
One day they really love you 
You’ll charm them with that smile 
But for now it’s just another Chelsea Monday

Drifting with her incense in the labyrinth of London 
Playing games with faces in the neon wonderland 
Perform to scattered shadows on the shattered cobbled aisles 
Would she dare recite soliloquies at the risk of stark applause

She’ll pray for endless Sundays as she enters saffron sunsets 
Conjure phantom lovers from the tattered shreds of dawn 
Fulfilled and yet forgotten the St. Tropez mirage
Fragrant aphrodisiac, the withered tuberose

Patience my tinsel angel, patience my perfumed child 
One day they really love you, you’ll charm them with that smile 
But for now it’s just another Chelsea Monday

[Hello John, did you see The Standard about four hours ago? 
Fished a young chick out of The Old Father 
Blond hair, blue eyes. She said she wanted to be an actress or something 
Nobody knows where she came from, where she was going 
Funny thing was she had a smile on her face 
She was smiling, what a waste]

Catalogue princess, apprentice seductress 
Buried in her cellophane world in glitter town 
Of Chelsea Monday


That last bit in parenthesis is spoken at the end of the song. And yes, it does imply she was found dead, drowned. That immediately  – to me – references Tennyson’s “Lady of Shallot” ( I will post at the end if you are interested.) When I listen to the song – I dont think of her death. I think of her escape. And  I am not by nature a depressed person to select such dark songs. I just listen to the song and hear a different  ending. She followed her dreams, she escaped her fate, she found her wings…

The song is refering to the London neighborhood of Chelsea, where I loved to wander when I lived there. It was a short ride on the #49 bus from my flat in Shepherd’s Bush…My time in London was pivotal in who I am today as an artist and a person. I spent a lot of time alone exploring, alone with my thoughts…drifting through London as it were…

And the labyrinth is a powerful symbol. One path, it offers you blind turns, twists and turns, but only one path. At times you feel you are going back to where you had just been. If you stay on your path, trust in the journey, you will not be led astray. The path to the center, your center, although you may not always be able to see where you are headed, you are headed the right way. 

So I am very satisfied with the results of the time spent with this music, and this challenge. This piece I will wear often. It speaks loudly to me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! 

The Lady of Shallot – Text: here

Images: here and here and one more – here

and the song brings to mind this painting as well…


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