Gift #913: Age of Discovery

It’s slowly dawned upon my subconscious that we’re solidly in November and the last update I did on my calendar jewelry was to show what I made for June and July.  That means we’re way behind schedule.   I think it’s a weird form of psychology where as long as I don’t do something, time will hold still.  Ergo, if I stop writing about my jewelry posts it will somehow remain August.  Oddly enough, that never pans out, but I go on thinking it will and just getting further behind.

Today I’ll move beyond August, acknowledging that it is now firmly in the past and that holding out on posts from the month will not bring August back.  Now, on to the artwork I had for the month:

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This artwork by Vikki Chu was quite different in style from the other months – featuring more graphic, color-blocked images with a bright blue bird surrounded by tropical foliage.  As I spent time looking at it, it started to remind me more and more of the amazing color plates of the natural world that were so popular in the 1700-1800s.  That was a great period of exploration, when so much of the natural world was being explored, categorized, and appreciated in ways never seen before.  It’s one of my favorite periods of history – what a time to have been a naturalist!  Trekking through uncharted jungles, feeling the heavy heat, hearing the rush of tropical waters, and seeing animals and plants that you never dreamed of!  I decided to create something that looked like it would be a souvenir of the exploration age.  I wanted the jewelry to look like preserved specimens that someone would have cherished in a curiosity cabinet in ages past.

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I used lots of leafy charms which I painted various shades of green and then distressed some of the paint off for a vintage effect.  I pulled some color from the bird with the floral focal point – this was fun to paint with different shades of blue.  I added the leaf charms to different lengths of chain to dangle from the flower and accented the leaves with tiny blue stone beads.  For the chain supporting the pendant, I wanted to use these green/blue/brown glass beads I found a while back.  They matched the colors perfectly!  I alternated the beads with engraved chain links.  A clasp, reminiscent of a tree knot with leaf, pulls the design together.  I really like how it captured the aged feel of dried foliage and flowers pressed long years ago as part of an exotic traveler’s memoirs.

Here’s a closeup of the pendant.

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Earrings were kept simple, but echoed the motifs in the necklace.  I painted the heart-shaped leaves with various shades of green ink and dangled more of the blue stones in front.  Links from the chain used in the necklace give a bit of extra length and interest.

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Now whenever I wear the set, I’m reminded by the thrill of discovery of beautiful forms and encouraged to look for the ordinary miracles hidden all around.

Blessings to you,

Sarah

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5 Responses to Gift #913: Age of Discovery

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    A lovely set, Sarah. It is wonderful to see the art and the creative inspiration you pull from it!

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