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Guildmistress - $150

The Guildmistress of the Locksmith Guild always wears the symbol of her trade somewhere on her person. On a normal day, it might just be a simple key in her pocket, or on a ribbon about her neck. But when she dresses to the nines for an evening of high society, she wears elaborate crystal necklaces bedecked with beautiful keys.

My current love affair with steampunk aesthetics comes to the forefront in this sumptuous necklace. Swarovski crystals, vintage cut glass, and an antique brass key are all woven together with gorgeous seed beads. These seeds are an unusual bronze-lined pale sapphire, which makes them seem silvery and golden at the same time. They're a perfect complement to the opalescent grey crystals, which have flashes of gold in the light. I've brought out the blue of the seeds with the Montana blue crystals and the gorgeous teardrop beads.

The key is solid metal, either brass or brass-plated, with a very attractive hammering around the top. I found it buried amongst other, more mundane keys, and knew that it had to be the star of a necklace. I designed around with it, and am thrilled by the end result. The swags and fringe of the necklace hearken to Victorian-era necklaces.

Guildmistress is adjustable from 14-15" currently. I can add a couple more loops if you need extra length. The key is 1 1/2" long, the central section has a total length of about 4". It will look best with a low-cut top, but doesn't require a scandalous show of cleavage (which doesn't mean that it won't look good with such a show). It fastens securely with a button-and-loop clasp. I used a vintage coat button with a mysterious pattern on it, which reminded me of a guild sigil.

  

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All content -- except where otherwise noted -- copyright AJ Reardon 1998-2007. Graphics by V Choy.