The Heart Beetle

By Taekyoung Yun

CAD software programmes | Rhino | Matrix | Mesh Mixer | Nettfab |

Necklace
Materials – silver (gold-plated) | Nylon | Lapis Lazulis | CZ | SS
Bespoken wooden box for display and packaging

Project Aim

The final work will identify how it shows the story of the Egyptian heart beetles that I have been interested in since this year began and express the concepts as a collection of jewellery.

My main work will be a large-scale necklace that will demonstrate CAD skills, traditional bench techniques, creative design and also a combination of different materials and precious metal.

The rest of the pieces of jewellery will indicate the possibilities to be produced commercially. Having completed my first two years study on the BA Jewellery Design & Related Products, I wanted to use this body of work to showcase my skills in design as well as on the practical side. 

Inspiration

My main points will be that related to my research on the Egyptian Beetle and History. The scarab amulets were made in the shape of the sacred scarab beetle as known as a dung beetle.

In my “The Heart Beetle” piece I was inspired by the Egyptian scarab beetle as known as a heart beetle.

I was interested in the Egyptian people’s strong belief’s in the afterlife and the beetle is very closely linked to these beliefs.  According to The Adorned Afterlife Research Network in Edinburgh in 2012, a singular item of adornment on the Rhind Mummy was shown a piece of beetle in metal. The metal work from the research gave me an idea for the scale of my neck piece.

I was drawn into the fact that the Egyptians placed the beetle over the heart of the decreased person believing that when they died, their heart might speak to them again while the beetle would say good things about them.

Another interesting fact I found out during my research was, dung beetles always push round dung balls that they create and that the Egyptian people believed the dung beetle was a form of the sun god. I expressed the beetle holding the neck parts together as the sun gods would in ancient Egyptian times.

I found the scarab beetle had a powerful amulet to Egyptians and decided to express the heart beetle in my style.

Key points of the scarab beetle to design my final outcome(s)

  • Amulets – Protection | Magical power | symbolic meaning
  • Afterlife
  • Large scale
  • Decorative
  • Nice polished surface
  • Lapis Lazuli

I decided to design my final piece as a big necklace inspired by the heart scarab with their story.

The product will be able to demonstrate features of materials, lapis lazuli and precious metal, and decorative aspects which combine the traditional jewellery making skills and new technologies.

Display

For my display, I made my own bespoken box because the display is also a part of my design of the beetle necklace and also packaging. I put a lot of effort to design and research materials and carpenters to make it. I was considering about how I can tell audiences that my piece was inspired by the Egyptian Art and History without the main piece. Then I researched on commercial jewellery boxes for a big necklace, some Egyptian styles of boxes and different types of boxes with different materials, velvet, leather, plastic. However, I did not like any boxes that I found.

I decided to make a bespoken jewellery box, for my display and package, and kept researching on carpentry stores in London and Birmingham. I would like to have a contract in Birmingham where I can come and talk for planning, designing, picking it up and tracking the processes.

I found Adam who is the owner of AJ Hudd Carpentry was really nice and helping me with designing, planning, getting ideas of dying a box and managing to finish by my own deadline for the display design.

AJ Hudd carpentry http://ajhuddcarpentry.co.uk/

I chose ‘Oak’ because it has good hardness and strength. Moreover, it can be protecting by fungi and insects which might be matched with the Egyptian mummies how good they have been kept inside of the coffin.