Moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune – Proportional Astronomy Necklaces

How cool would it be if we Earthlings had not one, but many Moons in our orbit?
Would Moonlight from 63 different angles be as romantic?

Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune are all known for being surrounded by wild lovely storms of Moons, ranging from rock to ice in composition, from tiny and irregular to large and round in shape, occasionally colliding in their orbits! (Jupiter has 63 known Moons, Saturn has 62, and Neptune has 13… it’s quite a party out there…)

In the Moons & Planets necklace series, the nearest Moons of each planet are represented in Moonstone, Agate, and Glass, with each Moon’s distance from the Planet measured proportionally in beads. (1 bead = 10,000 kilometers on the Moons of Saturn necklace, for example).

Check out the Moons & Planets Necklace Series, available here:
Moons of Saturn Necklace
Moons of Jupiter Necklace
Moons of Neptune Necklace

Moons of Saturn Necklace:

Moons of Neptune Necklace:

Moons of Jupiter Necklace:

Comet Pendant & Solar System Necklace at NASA

The Solar System Necklace series’ latest adventure into Space is with NASA’s Cassini Mission! After conversing with Cassini Mission Astronomer Jane Houston Jones, I was honored and very flattered to be asked to submit images for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Podcast. Their October podcast highlights Astronomical phenomena visible during the month of October, conceptualizes and ponders the vast distances of Space, and instructs on how to make a scale model of the Solar System similar to the Solar System Necklace design.

nasa logo

In addition to contributing to a NASA educational project, this conversation with Astronomer Jane Houston Jones inspired a new addition to the Solar System Necklace series: a beaded Comet Pendant in Moonstone and Agate. In anticipation of Comet 103 P Hartley 2 (“Hartley 2” for short), Jones requested a beaded Comet that could be moved around on the necklace according to the Comet’s position in our Solar System.

Check out the Comet Pendant Design here:
Comet Pendant – Re-positionable – Moonstone and Agate

Check out Jane’s awesome Astronomy blogs:
Jane Houston Jones at NASA
Jane Houston Jones – personal Astronomy blog

Check out the Podcast Here from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
What’s Up October 2010? – Jet Propulsion Laboratory News

Comet Pendant – Re-positionable – Moonstone and Agate,
shown here on a Solar System Necklace.

Atmospheric Strata Necklace featured on Craftzine

I’m having so much fun with the Solar System Necklace series; I’m now constantly inspired to build more necklaces about amazing natural phenomena! My latest exploration of science in beads is an ethereal multi-strand Atmospheric Strata Necklace.

Laura Cesari's Atmospheric Strata Necklace

The six-strand beaded Atmospheric Strata Necklace design demonstrates the Atmospheric Strata and various objects and phenomena that one might encounter in the Atmosphere, such as Clouds (shell), Meteors (garnet), Satellites (copper & hematite), and the Aurora Borealis (fluorite).

Check out Rachel Hobson’s Craftzine posting here:
Craftzine: Laura Cesari’s Atmospheric Strata Necklace

It is my hope that this design will inspire thoughts of the complex and delicate relationship between the Earth and Atmosphere.

The strands of the necklace encircle the wearer in the same order that the Atmospheric Strata surround the Earth; from the center of the necklace, you are given the perspective of Earth, seeing the Atmospheric Strata radiate outward into Space.

Find out more & purchase the necklace at the Chain of Being shop:
Atmospheric Strata Necklace

Truly Fantastic Review for Solar System Necklace Kit

Here’s the first customer review of the Solar System Necklace Kit on Makers Market:

“I’m eleven (11) yrs. old, & dad bought this for mom. I assembled it by myself with help from dad on making the clasp and getting the right number of black beads. (Dad wanted to help so I let him count beads for me 😉 I found this fun and not too difficult. It looks really good on mom, you have to double loop it so it’s not too long though. “

Solar System Necklace Kits have now shipped to various locations around the globe: It’s delightfully mind-boggling to think about how each kit represents an individual person’s experience of visualizing the Universe!

Solar System Necklace Kit

Solar System Necklaces in the Blog-o-Verse

The Solar System Necklaces have had a very exciting couple of days!

I was very excited to discover the recent Planetary Society interview about the Solar System Necklace Series referenced on the MAKE:zine and Makers Market blogs, which bounced through TrendHunter, Neatorama, Woman’s Day, and The Daily What.

Make: Solar System Necklace – Each Bead Represents 20 Million Miles
Makers Market blog: Chain of Being featured by Planetary Society
TrendHunter: Cosmic Jewelry puts the Milky Way Galaxy on your Neck
Neatorama: Solar System Necklace
The Daily What: Nerdy Necklace of the Day
A Mirror and a Steady Hand
The Photo Stream
Woman’s Day

The post from MAKE:zine also revealed a brief mention from Dr. Raven Hanna of Made with Molecules, who makes wonderful silver molecule themed necklaces based on the shapes of molecular structures:
The Road from Maker Faire: Raven Hanna

In the discussions following the articles, readers have shared other jewelry projects they have seen that incorporate planets, stars, and other space-related themes. I haven’t seen any other designs that measure astronomical distances, but nonetheless, it was fun to see all the different creative interpretations of this classic, universal theme:

Fire Mountain Gems’ “Solar System Necklace”
Delight’s Earthly Delights “Solar Delights #1”
WonderWonder’s Solar System Necklace in Pomegranate (pictured below)
The Inspired Orb’s “Solar System Necklace”
Artsy Fartsy Lisa’s “Galaxy Necklace”
Rutigliano’s “Galaxy Necklace”
Free Time Watch referencing planetary orbits

There are even a few kids’ activities in a similar vein. A couple of them use proportional data, though with a cruder degree of accuracy:

The Solar System in Cheerios! (looks somewhat proportional, not sure of the unit)
Challenger Center for Space Science Education: Solar System Bead Distance Activity (this one is vaguely proportional: it suggests using centimeters to represent AU’s)
Museum Astronomical Resource Society: “How to Make a Solar System Necklace” (not proportional but cool anyway!)

Have you seen any others?
If your universe were a necklace, what would it look like?

WonderWonder's Knitted Solar System
WonderWonder’s Solar System in Pomegranate

Planetary Society Interview: The Solar System, in Jewelry Form

I am amazingly wonderfully honored to be interviewed by The Planetary Society about the Astronomy Beadwork project and Solar System Necklace series. In fact, “amazingly wonderfully honored” seems like sort of a silly understatement… I mean… wow!   Being featured next to articles about solar-sail spacecrafts and journeys through the Asteroid Belt is almost as humbling of an experience as looking up into the fantastic, unfathomable Vastness of Space itself!


The Planetary Society’s Emily Stewart Lakdawalla asks some very thoughtful questions about jewelry, astronomical data, and getting both sides of the brain to work together.

Check out the article here:
The Solar System, in Jewelry Form

In addition to being a journalist for the Planetary Society, Lakdawalla also makes Space-themed artwork: I’m a big fan of her Hayabusa Spacecraft Amigurumi and Moons of Saturn Quilt.

The Planetary Society was started by Carl Sagan & cohorts, and is now directed by Bill Nye: they build amazing stuff and explore the unknowns of our neighbors out in the black….

Yeah, wow again…

Solar System Necklace

More Adventures in Astronomy Beadwork

The last month has been a blur of production, development, presentations, lectures, and life’s general mayhem! A few highlights:

I’m still glowing with delight since my Astronomy Beadwork presentation won an Editor’s Choice Award at Maker Faire this year! In addition to having a fantastic time, seeing wonderful things, and meeting excellent people, I got to take home a shiny blue ribbon!


Somehow, due to the great and awesome serendipity of the Universe, the Astronomy Beadwork presentation at the Craft Demo Stage was captured in this Totally Amazing Panoramic Picture of Maker Faire, which is likely the most accurate depiction I’ve seen of the mad wonderful chaos that is Maker Faire (and it’s probably the coolest picture of me presenting that I could wish for!). Super thanks to Cris Benson for sharing the photo.

Maker Faire Panoramic

…and there are a few fun pictures and comments about the Solar System Necklace over at Average Jane Crafter, including this excellent shot of the necklace on writer Rachel Hobson next to Han Solo in carbonite at Lucasfilm. :)

Rachel gives the Solar System Necklace another awesome review, saying “…the necklace was ten times more gorgeous in person. It’s weighty and tactile – I love it!” — (Thanks, Rachel!)

What does your Universe Look Like?

The project I’m sharing at Maker Faire this year is Astronomy Beadwork: beaded necklaces that depict the proportional distances of Space.

My query for you out there, is “What does your Universe Look Like?”

MiniVerse Solar System Necklace - by Laura Cesari

MiniVerse Solar System Necklace – by Laura Cesari

In my studies in Art History, I noticed that almost all ancient and modern cultures create Cosmograms, visual representations of the universe as we know it. The Astronomy-themed Solar System Necklace Series are decorative Cosmograms, wearable maps of our universe using the sacred numbers of our Solar System.

I like how using beads conveys the abstract distances of Space in a familiar decorative object. I chose inky black shiny glass beads to represent Space, and stone beads to represent the planets, since they often look like miniature planets themselves.

How do you visualize your Universe? What would your personal Cosmogram be made with?

Are we large? small? light? dark? Are we made from stone? glass? metal? marshmallows?

I would love to hear your thoughts…

(you can also follow this conversation at Gravity Maker World.)

CraftZine Interview: Artist Explores Universe Through Solar System Necklaces

I am soooo stoked to be interviewed about my Astronomy Necklaces by awesome space goddess Rachel Hobson for CraftZine. Rachel asked some very interesting and thought-provoking questions, like “How do you find inspiration?” and “What is your favorite tool and why?” (a tough question for any artsy type! I had to think about that one for a while…).

Check out the article here:
Artist Explores Universe Through Solar System Necklaces

More of Rachel’s wordcrafting here:
Rachel’s CraftZine Posts
Average Jane Crafter
Rachel in Space

 Orbital Necklace demonstrating the paths of Venus, Earth, and Mars - by Laura Cesari

Orbital Necklace demonstrating the paths of Venus, Earth, and Mars – by Laura Cesari

Solar System Necklace measuring the proportional distance between planets - by Laura Cesari

Solar System Necklace measuring the proportional distance between planets – by Laura Cesari

Honorable Mention in Switch Craft

After owning Alison Lewis’ book, Switch Craft, for a good while, I read the fine print in the back of the book and discovered that my Fire Skirt is mentioned as an inspiration for the book’s “Dancing Queen Skirt” project, the illuminated skirt featured on the cover.  I am very flattered and so stoked to be included in such a lovely and interesting book.

Alison Lewis’ website, I Heart Switch, has a bunch of tasty fashion electronics projects as well: for example, these Rodarte-style glow shoes reverse-engineer and replicate a recent fashion trend, inspiring DIY fashionistas to create their own couture.  (ironic pause here for the notion that Rodarte’s designers were likely inspired by Switch Craft, making the design circle complete…)

I look forward to seeing more of Alison Lewis’ electronic fashion designs, on the bookshelf and the runway.

Switch Craft by Alison Lewis