A sensible present for a Jane Austen fan

Designer Chloe Menage making the beaded Jane Austen pendants
Designer Chloe Menage making the beaded Jane Austen pendants
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A designer has created the perfect pendant – fit for even Elizabeth Bennet.

Chloe Menage, from Hayling Island, worked with the Hampshire Cultural Trust to create a new beading kit inspired by the life of Jane Austen.

The Jane Austen beaded pendant crafting kit

The Jane Austen beaded pendant crafting kit

Beadwork designer Chloe, the owner of Pinkhot Jewellery, researched the sort of jewellery Jane and her literary heroines would have worn at the time.

Crafters will be able to stitch a beautiful Regency-inspired pendant that features an exclusive cabochon – a polished gemstone – bearing a copy of a poem penned in Jane’s own hand.

Chloe said: ‘It was an honour to be involved in this project and it’s wonderful that others can now enjoy creating their own Jane Austen-inspired beaded jewellery.’

The Jane Austen Pendant Kit has grown out of a joint project between Chloe and the trust – which operates museums and art galleries through the county that were previously run by local authorities.

Jane, one of the world’s most famous authors, spent the majority of her life in Hampshire. Its houses, countryside and people provided the inspiration for many of her novels.

Several of the Pride and Prejudice author’s personal belongings are on display at Winchester City Museum which is run by Hampshire Cultural Trust.

In 2015, the trust commissioned a selection of artists to create works inspired by items in this collection.

Chloe chose from these a poem written by Jane in February 1811 called I’ve a pain in my head, and a tiny green crochet purse decorated with gold beads as inspiration to create the beautiful pendant.

Chloe said: ‘I loved that the poem was penned by Jane herself, and set out to create a unique piece that captured her prose.

‘I turned a copy of the manuscript into handmade glass cabochons which can be stitched around with tiny beads.’

Designed for anyone, even those with little or no beading experience, each kit includes one of the bespoke handmade cabochons, plus all the beads and materials. There are clear instructions with step-by-step photographs and diagrams in a handy booklet.

For those already with beading experience Chloe promises the kits are a joy to make using a combination of peyote stitch and bead embroidery techniques.

The kits cost £23 and include all the materials required. All that’s needed are some sharp scissors and a little fabric glue.

The Jane Austen Pendant kits can be purchased from the gift shops at Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, The Wills Museum in Basingstoke and Winchester City Museum or online from pinkhot.co.uk.