As I worked, I frequently asked Zak for description. I know that the artist who chose this challenge felt that only the book should serve as inspiration, and Zak has read them all. I also purposefully didn't seek out images until I was finished. Here's what I found today, with thanks to Google Images.
According to Zak, a Balrog is a tall creature of shadow and fire. It is epic and ancient, like a titan. Its presence is felt as much as seen, and it is an embodiment of evil. Zak mentioned shadowy wings and a fiery whip, and horns that curved down, all of which I see here, and very much as I envisioned them from his description. He also mentioned a sword. He said in anger, the creature flames. A flaming necklace!
I wanted lines that drooped, as I imagined the horns did, and created those with the draped sections of coal black Czech firepolish beads. I tried to create the flame-like whip imagery with graded bicone tassles in flame colors.
Now, a few words about my splendid son. Zak is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. He has earned a full ride scholarship to the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences, and a place in the Honors program as well. He is also an AP scholar. Can you see why I am so proud? This one is for you, Zak!
OH! I almost forgot to mention, once again, all the the Swarovski jewel components in this necklace came form my friend Doris Coghill. She's got a WONDERFUL selection of interesting and unusual things, at reasonable prices. Visit her rivolis and jewels at : http://www.beadsbydee.com/Catalog/Swarovski-Rivoli.html