This is the first collar I made. I started by thinking that the throat was a vulnerable part of the body with so much blood so near the surface and made the collar in blood red tones. As I have done more work on the whole area of amulets I have learned that there is an element in many of them of confusing evil spirits or deflecting their attention and getting them to pass on. So, in a world of violence already being smeared with blood might mean that the aggressor will move on and leave you alone.
That’s the serious stuff. The lighter stuff is that I love working with red. It is a richly symbolic colour about danger, blood, sex, sin and so on, but also celebration and life. I find it an energising and life-enhancing colour. I also learned early on from studying Kaffe Fassett and his work that to work well with red you need to include lots of shades of it. They seem to hum together and to vibrate. Fassett often throws in a bit of lime with his red or turquoise blue, which I didn’t do with this piece.
I calmed it down a bit with some gentle beige:
These little rolled beads are made from some mock suede (another luxury furnishing fabric provided by my mother’s friend’s son) printed with transfer paint and then wrapped with some beads.
There is also some crimson furnishing velvet and little rosettes of thread.
The centrepiece is a big felt flower which I made but never used for a Christmas wreath. The cord is a simple plait of the fabrics used in the piece.