Posted by: cassymuronaka | April 18, 2009


I see that Stampington and Company, publisher of Belle Armoire and Somerset, has just issued an interesting new magazine entirely devoted to history’s most famous doomed queen, Marie Antoinette.

Here comes the Me-Me-Me part. As my skates usually try to glide near the cutting edge of breathtaking style, I’m already there, having designed a necklace entirely devoted to Marie last year, a project that was published in the Winter 2008 issue of Bead Unique magazine.


I had a pretty good time with it too, involving silver clay, polymer clay, transfers, molds, textures and what I thought was Great Wit. But, truth be told, I did hit a bit of a wall when I was assembling the thing. Girly-girl and frou-frou truly is not my forte, and this necklace was pink and green and sweet all over. Raising a son who asked me to dye his hair purple two years ago definitely has contributed to my sense of color, but it does not help keep me current with what’s happening in the new Millennium.

So I turned to a talented designer friend with two teenage girls, whose radar for inner trendiness far exceeds my own colossal hipness. She advised me to slap some more of crystals on that puppy, and suddenly, a pretty piece of jewelry emerged.


As I was designing the necklace I became fascinated with the idea of notorious women through the ages, some of who deserved their long-standing reputations, some of who did not. I started making a list of names, because I thought the idea had the potential for a long-term project involving a series of necklaces which I might even one day submit to a gallery. And that particular gameplan is a real indicator of just how far my fantasies can wander when I am waiting for clay to dry, cure in an oven, or fire in a kiln.

Eventually, I decided that The Notorious could be men, too, but that list is pretty short right now. It consists only of Keyser Söze, Hannibal Lecter, The Joker, and Edgar Allan Poe. However, I went wild with the women, placing no limit on whether the person is real or fictional. I’m open to all additions and suggestions, but here’s what I came up with so far:

Lizzie Borden
Catherine the Great
Bette Davis
Lucrezia Borgia
Bloody Mary
Mary, Queen of Scots
The Borg Queen
Monica Lewinsky
Madame Mao
Anne Boleyn
Leona Helmsley
Mrs. Danvers
Mata Hari
Tallulah Bankhead
Madame Defarge
Scarlett O’Hara
Blanche Dubois
Wicked Witch of the West
Joan Crawford
Elizabeth Taylor
Holly Golightly
Margo Channing
Norma Desmond
Helen of Troy
Cruella de Vil


  1. again, great work and a great idea for a line.

    as for further nominees, i’d offer:
    * bonnie parker
    * mary kay ash (get your pink on!)
    * tammy faye bakker
    * barbara bush (‘she knows how to hate,’ richard nixon said)
    * courtney love (although she’d probably sue)

    also, keyser soze is an inspired choice!

  2. High praise from Billy Clyde. Oh boy, Tammy Faye Baker is really good. I like all the others, too. I almost put Nancy Reagan on the List, but Barbara Bush is better.

  3. Bellatrix Lestrange!

  4. Good one!

  5. […] POLYMER CLAY: Notorious […]

  6. […] Notorious […]

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