Friday, June 8, 2018

Inspired by Reading: Station Eleven

As expected, I'm running a bit behind for the May Inspired by Reading Book Club selection.  No one should be shocked.  Better late than never though... and, darn it, I finished the book!  Speaking of the book, the May selection was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Station Eleven, despite the sound of the name, is NOT a science fiction space story...  it's the story of a world-wide flu pandemic that wipes out the majority of the Earth's population and how the world looks 20 years after the collapse of civilization.  The book goes back and forth in time following a small group of characters who end up having an unlikely connection.  While it may have been a bit of a shark jump for so many people who were connected to survive the highly virulent strain of influenza, it was enjoyable to read and unravel the threads.  While bleak, it was not the depression inducing read that The Road was for me...  I don't know if it enhanced my reading experience or not, but there's some irony that Eric and I have been playing through the game Pandemic Legacy... trying to save the world from collapsing due to spreading and mutating disease.

So, I have to say, the parts of the book dealing with the actual pandemic and the bleak world it left behind were not particularly inspiring to me.  Luckily, I got an idea from the storyline of the Dr. Eleven comic books embedded within the overarching tale.  Station Eleven is a planet like space station that has escaped from chaos on Earth through a wormhole.  Unfortunately the station systems were damaged and it is perpetually twilight on the station and most of the surface is covered with water.  There is conflict between the island dwellers led by Dr. Eleven and the people of the Undersea who want to return to Earth.  The Undersea dwellers ride giant and dangerous seahorses... half animal, half machine.  I used the seahorses as my jumping off point... although the ones in my designs aren't scary!  Also, it doesn't hurt that it's summer time and seahorse items seem seasonally appropriate.

My first design features a porcelain seahorse pendant from Andrew Thornton... I think I picked this one up at last year's Bead & Button show but you can find all his lovelies through Allegory Gallery.  I started playing around with various design options in shades of purple and eventually settled on stringing the necklace with a rich mix of gemstones and some accents of Czech glass.  The dyed white jade briolettes are from Allegory Gallery as well and were a perfect match for the pendant's color.  There's also a ton of amethyst in various cuts and shades... yum!  In keeping with the undersea theme, I used a sweet little starfish clasp from Green Girl Studios in fine pewter.

I also wanted to play with a fun ceramic set that I got from Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio.  When I pulled these guys out onto my bead mat, I realized that they color was just perfect for some cuprite beads I recently acquired.  I started with the bracelet design, adding in a couple of bronzite faceted rondelles to the matte cuprite beads.  I figured I should keep going and finish the set since I already had everything out!

Next, I laid out a necklace design that mixed matte and shiny cuprite beads with the bronzite... I kept with the same style chain and a similar dangle on the end of the chain to go with the bracelet.  I'm really loving how both of those turned out.  I've started the earrings, but since they aren't specifically seahorse patterned, I'll share them on my Instagram account when I'm done. 

Thanks for stopping by to see my May book club creations.  The blue set should be swimming over to Unearthed Arts soon! 

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