Egyptian collars are heavy. To improve comfort and wearability, the ancient Egyptians added a counterpoise to the broad collar. This piece hangs between the shoulder blades and serves two purposes: it offsets the weight of the front of the collar, making it more comfortable and stable; and symbolically it protects the wearer from danger from behind.

I may reweave the top of the arch to make it smoother, if time permits.

In Process: Small Components

Vintage Czech glass beads: plausible fake hieroglyphs with netted bezels. They look like names of pharoahs but they’re not.
Small glass scarabs made in post-war Japan, with peyote bezels using 15/0 Delica beads. I’m going to need new glasses.
Kitty shens: the Egyptian hieroglyph for “eternity” is a an underlined circle. Egyptologists believe that it represents the path of the sun and the limitless horizon. The cats are my addition. Nine eternal lives are even better,

Framing the Eye of Ra

Before I can start assembling the rows of small components, I have to build the vertical frames around the Eye of Ra. Their purpose is twofold: to stabilize and center the Eye within the collar, and to anchor the rows.

The vertical bars are 50 units of cubic right angle weave, two rows deep (to match the depth of Egyptian Squib).

I haven’t decided how to anchor the little blue cat — she’ll get added after the small components are in place, and when I’ve added more “bracing” as necessary. The frame will look cleaner when I’ve added the trim beads to the bars (you can see the effect in the Eye itself).

Next: the vertical terminals for the back of the collar. They’ll be slightly more intricate, following the ancient Egyptian broad collar design.