Monday, June 29, 2009

Book-to-Movie Inspirations: Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' Saga & J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series

With two of the biggest book franchises now turned into movie blockbusters, it's hard not to deny their influence. These two pieces, inspired by the Harry Potter series and The Twilight Saga, came together because of my love and appreciation for these series of books that will most certainly stand the test of time as part of our pop culture.

NECKLACE NO. 1: “Hedwig” I was a late bloomer when it came to Harry Potter. I’m not saying that I was against it, or that I ever boycotted it, I just didn’t pick it up right away and read it. The first few books were more of a severe pre-teen market, but I remember it picking up pace (and interesting reviews) when it was accused of teaching children ‘witchcraft’ and possibly lured into ‘occult worship’. I think that’s what made me read these books, as well as my good friends Karen and Curtis, who are bookworms themselves, who gave good praises and recommendations.

Later in the series, darker themes are introduced as Harry reaches an age of maturity, and the perspective matched an older, more mature Harry as he faces these challenges. Here, I’ve made a necklace dedicated to his loyal pet owl, Hedwig, given to him as a gift from Reubus Hagrid, groundskeeper at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Here is where Harry will begin his legacy.

Here’s a list of materials used:
  • owl charm (from a purchased pair of earrings)
  • shell pendant (from a previously owned pair of earrings)
  • black silk ribbon
  • cut glass tube and large decorative beads, black
  • brown wood beads
  • acrylic star bead
  • ‘o-ring’ and button for clasp
  • tiger tail, jumprings and crimps
The shell reminded me of a full moon, especially with silver etching around the edges. I like big earrings, but I enjoy necklaces more. So, I didn’t mind sacrificing them for something a little bit cooler. I had picked up the owl earrings on an impulse buy, knowing fully well that I was gonna use them in something. That night, I made this with ease, watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The acrylic star bead was given to me by my friend, Jenna, who had these beads since she was a child. The other ones were dispersed amongst other projects, and I thought it was just serendipity that there was only one left, as if it was meant to be here. I used an o-ring and a button for the clasp, cinching the o-ring together with tiger tail and crimps. I had the o-ring, and I wanted to do something a little more rudimentary, but clever, for this necklace. I also had an old incomplete vintage tarot deck sitting around, and found the Ace of Wands. It’s used here as an identity card for the piece, and a talisman of sorts. The Ace of Wands represents success in all you do, whether it’s back by luck or hard work. Something that’s rather representative of Harry.

The notion of supernatural powers, and those deemed masters of them take us back to a time of King Arthur and Camelot, with Merlin a known advisor to the regal powers. The idea of ‘magick’ in occult believes that the world is full of energy that can be controlled at the person’s will, so as long as he can live in harmony with nature. There are those of us whose darker sides use this advantage as a means to an end, terrorizing people through demonstrations of power, intimidation, violence, and many other unspeakable acts, if deemed ‘necessary’ to gain control. ’With great power comes great responsibility’, said Aunt May to Peter Parker. Harry is the epitome of power and responsibility; he has the means to accomplish what he must, but will he do what is necessary? It is a struggle within us all.

NECKLACE NO. 2: “Twilight” The world had it set in mind that the Harry Potter phenomenon would not repeat itself; in an age of Internet Supremacy, who would pick up a book again? It wasn’t until Stephenie Meyer’s romantic notion of vampires in the Twilight Saga and the average girl that set pre-teen hearts alight, waiting for their own Edward Cullen.

Take a look at the "New Moon" necklace!

Yes, I did read the books, although I’m far from the ‘pre-teen’ market. And past the romantic notions of the story, I rather enjoyed it. It seemed to take a turn on a modern Greek tragedy, especially with the severity of the situation; a fragile, human girl in a romance with a family of vampires, all depriving themselves of human blood for the sake of humanity, feeding off the blood of animals in the surrounding wilderness. Vampires with souls, how ’bout that?
It doesn’t stop there! Jacob Black, introduced in the first few moments of Bella’s homecoming to Forks, is a childhood friend from a nearby Native reserve in La Push. Revealing to Bella when asked why the Cullens 'don't come' to the beach, he tells the history of the tribe that the Quiletes, Jacob’s people, are decendents of wolves, and they protect the 'pale faces' from the Cullens' 'secret', something more played off as a silly superstition, according to Jacob. Unbeknownst to Bella, this reveal will fortell a new introduction to the mythical world lurking behind the foggy forests of Forks, Washington.
The necklace that I’ve made may be more suitable for what’s to come for Bella in New Moon. As noted by Stephenie Meyer, the new moon is the darkest of the lunar cycle, as this is a dark and depressing time in Bella’s life. Suffering the absence of Edward at what she believes is her fault, she struggles with losing her true love, the theme of the book.

Here’s a list of materials used:
  • shell pendant (from previously owned pair of earrings)
  • pair of wings charm (from previously owned necklace)
  • hand-blown glass beads and cut tube beads, black
  • frosted glass disc, white
  • cube glass beads and heart, red
  • white skull beads (earrings)
  • red shell hearts
  • jumprings, lobster clasp, tiger tail, crimps, headpins, eyepins etc.
Yes, you’re seeing right. There’s the other shell pendant from those earring mentioned before! The wings are from a previously owned necklace, and the beads all came from my destash collection. The white frosted bead mirrors the sheen look on the shell pendant, and I thought they complimented each other well. Both these necklaces have an off-centre focal point, not to take away the attention, but to catch the eye and trail through the entire piece. Make the complimenting bead no bigger than your pendant so that you don’t draw to much attention away from the centrepiece. I have lots of necklaces that I’ve made with off-centre accents that really add character to the piece. The tag, featuring Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinsen playing the lead characters, was pulled from my copy of the Twilight soundtrack for something to hold the earrings. Little skulls over hearts. Seemed rather gothic, but so is this story.

It’s good to bury yourself in a good book once in a while, just for the escapism of it. Television and movies can do that, too, but only to an extent. The best part about reading a book is using your mind’s eye and playing the story out in your own head. You never know - your favourite book might turn out to be just how you expected it on the big screen. (Author’s note: if you read Jurassic Park thinking it’s gonna be like the movie, you’ll find yourself wishing the movie was more like the book.)

(Author’s note: Just thought of an idea to make bookmarks to go with these pieces … paper crafts!!)

Photography credit: Cassandra Watsham

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