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.


  1. Very elegant...and it would go nicely with that ball gown! I should learn to knot pearls at some many things I'd like to try and so little time.

  2. Gorgeous! Love the matching dress, too. Crimp covers can be tricky. :)

  3. Your creation is the perfect thing to go with the dress.

  4. What an elegant piece! I could totally see this being worn with an amazing cotillion dress. I think you've done a wonderful job in creating a luxurious necklace that says Old Money! Nicely done!

    And thank you so much for participating! I really appreciate it and I look forward to seeing what you make and am glad that the book club has helped you blog more!

  5. Judy, I am right there with you on the regularity (or irregularity) of my blogging. I love that you too a totally different take and focused on the history of Sharon Springs and the Beekman mansion. Your necklace is so beautiful and romantic.

  6. Love the historical perspective you took. What an elegant necklace you made!! Love it!,

  7. Ooh! Old school! What a nice variation on ideas from the book. Your necklace is gorgeous. Delicate, classic...