Thursday, June 27, 2013

Off to war . . . kind of.

The pieces in the photo - a  paternoster and Roman-style necklace and earrings - are off to be part of a largesse basket for Lochac at Pennsic.  My Princess asked me to help with this, and while I can't be there, this is the second year in a row that I've done something for the largesse basket coming from Calontir.  It's an honour to be asked to do this.

The details of the pieces are as such: the paternoster is strung on silk, with the aves made with 8mm Swarovski pearls, the gauds made with 10mm red glass, and a tassel hand made with silk.  I am not particularly fond of using imitation pearls, as I feel they're too perfect, however, these Swarovski pearls have a similar weight to the real thing, and at a fraction of the cost, it was worth using them.

The necklace I used sodalite, freshwater pearls, coral, plated spacer beads, and a handmade hook and eye clasp, using 18 ga brass wire.  The matching earrings use sodalite, plated spacer beads, and fancy headpins on shepherd hooks.  If I had a jig, and the right sort of wire, I would have probably made the hooks myself - but that's neither here nor there.

So, this gets mailed off today to the largesse coordinator, as I will not be able to attend Pennsic, but for the second year in a row, my stuff will.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gold & Sapphire Necklace - Altes Museum, Berlin

I ran across this particular piece on Pinterest, and think it interesting that it's superhumeral-shaped. What if superhumerals are not fabric, but metal?

I'm intrigued, as one of my inspiration pieces for my persona is Theodora with Attendants, which is a sixth century Byzantine mosaic in Ravenna, Italy. In that piece, the Empress is wearing what appears to be a separate collar, but with bezels and the like. Attaching said bezels to fabric is tricky, and can damage delicate fabrics (like silk). If it is a metal piece, like this, it makes more sense. Further more, the Berlin necklace has the same sorts of drops, similarly shaped bezels and prong settings, and does have pearl beads inset into bezels - much like Theodora's collar.

One thing I do find interesting is the loops on the back of the necklace. I'm thinking that this may have been tied shut and was therefore adjustable. It also could have been sewn to a fabric backing.

Also in the realm of cool are the headpins - which are really just eye pins folded under. The piercework is amazing, and the teeny-tiny hinges are gorgeous. I really, really want to try to make this piece.

It's something to think upon some more.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Roman-inspired Earrings

I love Pinterest for finding similarly-minded Roman and Byzantine jewellery fans and for sharing all sorts of awesome.  Including this pair of earrings that's housed at the V&A.  (Provenance can be found here.)

Even though these are a little more complicated than I can do right now, I can at least come close with what I do have.

Let's look at the extant piece: emeralds, sapphires, and pearls.  Emeralds and sapphires can be on the expensive end, but freshwater pearls less so.  Amethyst is another material that was used extensively by Romans, as it invoked the Imperial use of purple.  Instead of pure gold, using hammered brass wire can at least come close.
This set of earrings uses freshwater pearls, gold-plated spacer beads, tumbled amethyst beads, and hammered brass links that I made myself, and then placed onto shepherd-hook earrings.

It is still not as period as I would like, however this evokes the original closely.

See what you've got in your craft stash and see what you can figure out!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's been quiet. . .

I apologise for being so quiet - it's been a bit of a busy time, as I've been commissioned to make items for people - ranging from raffle items to jewellery and paternosters.  This will be a gratuitous item post.

This is a paternoster made for a friend of mine.  She provided the grey beads and asked me to come up with something that would key into her heraldry.  That's where this paternoster came from.  Strung on silk.
I made this for an auction at Horse and Falcons to benefit Unleashed, an animal shelter in my barony.  It was inspired by late Italian and English jewellery.  I used freshwater pearls and coral, as well as gold plated spacers on chain.

 The earrings and the necklace are made for the Lilies Troll raffle, and I wanted something that looked Roman.  The necklace still needs to be finished, but it's nearly done.  Freshwater pearls, coral, and quartz.

For my apprentice-brother, this paternoster is garnet and labradorite.  He has a persona that is a monsignor, and as such, it would be appropriate to have some bling on his person.