Friday, 21 June 2013

Inspired by Reading Book Club - The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer Purcell

Thank you Andrew - this book club is becoming a great way to make a habit of blogging. (I know once a month is not great but it is at least regular.) I love to make jewellery and to learn new techniques but marketing has me blocked. I will keep plugging along.

I LOVED this book but my inspiration came from the intro and not the story itself. whenever I see a historic painting I always try to design a piece of jewellery for the subject to wear. The image created of rich New Yorkers coming to Sharon Springs was just too good to pass up.

Life in the last half of the nineteenth century (the Victorian age) in upstate New York, played out much more slowly than it does now. The experiences described by Josh Purcell in his book, 'The Bucolic Plague", centre on the small resort town of Sharon Springs, where well-off New Yorkers came to "take the waters", which were thought to be beneficial. It was a popular destination each summer, attracting more than 10,000 visitors who had their pick of over 60 hotels and rooming houses.

Prominent women of wealth arrived with plenty of luggage so they paraded about wearing all their finery and beautiful jewellery. These pampered and fashionable ladies were able to afford their luxuries and enjoyed being members of high society.

This life of the moneyed elite, very evident by the clothes and possessions they flaunted while visiting Sharon Springs, inspired me to create this simple, classic necklace of pearls and "diamonds", which would have been the very definition of conspicuous consumption. I used 2 strands of pearls, plus a focal of a glittering, sparkling rhinestone fur clip, to evoke the lifestyle and mindset of those who made their annual pilgrimage to Sharon Springs - to "take the waters".

Maybe she would have worn my necklace with this dress??????

Here it is......

 I normally knot my pearl necklaces but I am trying to master crimp covers. This gave me a chance to try them out. I still need more practice but I love the necklace.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Inspired by Reading Book Club - A Rumor of Gems by Ellen Steiber

Again, thanks to Andrew - I never would have read this book if it had not been on the list. I am not generally a fan of fantasy so would likely have given this a pass. I am very glad I took the time to give it a chance.

In Ellen Steiber's book of 2005, A Rumor of Gems, she describes the port city of Arcato as an old and magical town where gemstones mysteriously begin to appear, as if falling from a robe worn by Alasdair the shaman, one of the four main characters. Although the novel is set in the modern world, I strongly feel that if any stones were to fall from a garment, they would be roughly cut.

I have always wanted to use chain in a necklace and decided to incorporate crackle agate and pyrite spacers to fashion a piece of jewellery that might have existed for centuries. The chains have a patina that would help to 'age' them. To impart the impression of stones falling from a sleeve or from a fold in a garment, I decided to use agate beads that have irregular facets. These 'rough cut' beads also have holes that are off-centre that helps to give them an impression of falling. My wish was to create a necklace, of chain and gemstones, that evokes an image of mystical power that could be used in spells for good and for evil.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy it.