A neckpiece mock-up
I first tried to select a specific sketch from which to develop a design but after some unsuccessful attemps I soon decided it was better and much more satisfying to work directly on my dress form and shape a mock-up in a more dynamic and 3D way while looking at all my sketches lying around me as a group and moving freely from one to the other for inspiration. To find my structure I tried out several cheap wires (from gardening type - too tender - to electrical cable - too springy) and I finally used an economical hardware wire that kept its shape well but wasn't too difficult to bend. I then sprayed it with a gold car paint to obtain a warmer colour, more in keeping with my colour choice for this module.
To obtain my "buttons" or other decorative elements I combined old pieces of embroidered fabrics, padded them, added various metallic bits, threads, self-made beads etc. just to gain an idea of what the final neckpiece might look.
A closer investigation of materials suitable for the neckpiece structure
Before going on my first thought has been to investigate which final metallic materials are most suitable to build a strong and pleasant structure for my spiralling neckpiece.
Here follow different views of this mock-up. It can be worn by simply passing it on the head.
I'm now thinking of modeling my neckpiece structure on the tailor's dummy in a rather free way and of adding decorative bits later, perhaps working them directly within the empty spaces obtained instead of creating them separately and attaching them afterwards as I did on the mock-up.
I believe this would help in obtaining a more organic neckpiece and would also strengthen the whole framework by creating additional joints.
So far so good, hopefully it won't take years to get finished. I know, I should definitely move on ...
A couple of more detailed views
I wanted a more precious but not too costly wire in view also of my lack of experience in scary real jewel making, so after checking prices on the internet I left out gold, gold-plated silver, fine/sterling silver wire and opted for silver-plated copper wire which has many good qualities:
it's relatively cheap, very flexible, forgiving and easy to work with, is available in many different thicknesses and, of course, still retains a bit of magic thanks to its silver layer.
A good thickness is the 2 mm wire. I used cylinder shapes (tin cans etc.) and a pair of jewellery pliers to assist my bending. In the first photo, silver has its original colour, but in a jewellery book a found a magical product to create a warm patina, its name is liver of sulphur and is used by restorers to obtain different shades of golden to bluish to dark brown to pure black for antiquing frames and other objects (second photo).