Friday, 31 May 2013

History Hop Reveal!

Welcome to the History Hop! This is the second history inspired blog hop I've hosted. A few people missed out on the last one, and it turned out to be enjoyable, so here's another one! And for anyone who missed out this time, I will be hosting another History Hop later this year (we'll see how it goes).

First off, thank you all for participating. I hope you've enjoyed it, been inspired, and maybe even learned something new about jewelry and its history.

The challenge was to pick a theme and era in history (you can find them here) and create a piece inspired by the style and materials used at that time. I chose the Indus Valley.

When I think of the Indus Valley, I think of gems, silk, and gold. I was delighted to find out copper, among other metals, was also popular. Copper is one of my favorite metals, so I couldn't resist using it in my project.

I chose to make a set of bangles, as they were very common in the Indus Valley. Mine have a slightly modern feel and are thinner and more delicate than what might have been worn, but I love the modern contrast. I made my bangles with carnelian, amethyst, and pearls; all materials that would have been used. I also used some lovely black silk, which increased in use with the advent of the Silk Road and trade with China.

Although the bangles I made are quite thin individually, they look great stacked together on the wrist. Even bare the copper bangles are attractive, but being a gemstone lover, I couldn't resist adding a few brightly colored stones and extra details with wire.

The first bangle I made was formed from wire and fused. I hammered the fused joint and along the bangle for strength. Then I wire wrapped dark amethysts on either side and a few dangles with carnelian drops and white pearls.

The next one is even simpler in design, but probably my favorite. It too is solid and made from fused copper wire, then hammered for strength and texture. I wire wrapped a single carnelian coin to the bangle. The color of the carnelian is gorgeous, and it didn't need much to make it stand out.

The last bangle is wrapped in soft, black silk with white pearls woven along the bangle with fine copper wire. This one turned out exactly as I imagined and feels great on the skin. This one isn't fused, but secured with two simple loops and forged to help keep the shape.

And there you have it! My Indus Valley inspired bangle set. I loved making these and plan to make many more. They're a refreshing change from my more complex designs. I have to admit...I'll probably keep these.

Thank you for hopping by! Please take a look at all the other participants' blogs. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

Leah Curtis - Indus Valley -
Laney Mead - Māori -
Becca - Art Nouveau -
Melissa - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Tracy Stillman - Native American -
Gerda - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Liz E - Native North American -
Ahowin - Māori (New Zealand)  - 
Jasvanti - Indus Valley -
Lizzie - Art Nouveau -
Julia Hay - Merovingian -
Dini - Celtic -
Caroline - Art Nouveau - 
Charlie - Moche of Peru -
Karin - China -
Niky Sayers - Rome -
Marcia Dunne - Celctic and Mourning Jewelry -
anafiassa - Mesopotamia -
Kokopelli - Native American -
Christa - Native American -
Clair - Roman -
Susan Bowie - Native American -
Gloria Allen - English Romanticism -
Sheila Garrett - Early Russia -

Friday, 24 May 2013

History Hop reminder and other things

Ahh, my poor neglected blog.

I've just sent out a reminder to everyone in the History Hop (who left me an email address or had one on their profile - check your spam! :)). And for those who I couldn't contact and are following my blog, the reveal date is on June 1st, but you can post at any time during the day that is convenient.

Don't forget you can schedule the post, if you think you'll be busy on that day. When you write your blog post click on "Schedule" on the right hand side of the screen. Select the date and time (it's usually in Pacific time, for some reason), click "Done", and publish. Double check it's there on the day - sometimes blogger can be funny like that.

I hope you're all enjoying the History Hop and designing. I know I can't wait to see what you make!

I've been really busy making beads, commissions, working on the blog hop, and a new magazine project. It's an e-magazine that will focus on art beads and one of a kind jewelry. So far I have contacted various artists who have given me permission to show photos of their work in small gallery sections, with direct links back to their shops. Just in case you feel the need for those beautiful beads.

There will also be artist profiles - some short, some more in depth, as well as tutorials on jewelry projects, handmade findings, and/or beads. This is just the first issue, so who knows what it could turn into! I find so many jewelry designers and bead makers inspiring, so I thought it would be great to give you a peek into it.

The e-mag is totally free and will be available on June 1st (barring anything unforeseen). I'm really excited about it and hope you'll enjoy reading and sharing in some of my inspiration.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

May ABS Challenge

This month, Art Bead Scene has chosen a beautiful old painting for our inspiration. The painting, Vaas met bloemen in een venster :: Vase with Flowers in a Window, was created in 1620 and is full of warm and vibrant colors. I mirrored this in my entry with a mix of lampwork beads in shades of orange.

I used an antique African trade bead from Ahowin and lampwork by Tan Grey, Sue Simmons, Julia Hay, and Keeley Kenyon (all from the UK) for my bouquet of orange beads. 

The painting also has a lot of depth and texture to it. I added layers of cotton cord and torch patinaed brass chain to my bracelet. There's also a line of shell daggers for added textural interest.

I made the toggle clasp from solid brass and wire wrapped it in vintage coral beads. I'm really pleased with the warm, tribal feel of this bracelet. 

There's still time to enter the challenge, if you're inspired! Check out the Art Bead Scene blog for more info.