21 February 2010

Tribal Inspirations

Even though I have been busy with school, I have still been making jewelry regularly. My first custom nath order started me making more of these lovely pieces of jewelry. I started looking at pictures of them where ever I could find them to get inspirations for more designs. The two I made after the first one sold quickly, and the paisley design was so popular that I got another custom order for one from the woman who bought the blue swirled nath, and an order for a pair of them to wear as earrings. I really enjoy making the paisley designs, and made a beautiful paisley pendant using rubies and tundra sapphires in the design.

The university library has the book, Traditional Jewelry Of India by Oppi Untracht, which had been recommended by someone in one of the belly dance forums I follow, so I checked it out and fell in love! The beautiful pictures in the book are amazing. I spent many days poring through its pages. When it came time to return the book, I knew that this was one I needed to own. I looked online to see how much it would cost to buy a copy, and discovered that it had been reprinted in soft cover for a very reasonable price, so I bought a copy of my own. What a treasure!

I was particularly taken by the pictures of jewelry from the Moghul period, rich with rubies, emeralds, and pearls, so the next couple of nath designs I made were heavily influenced by that period. I love the richness of the rubies and emeralds in these naths, and the pearls give the naths a wonderful luster.

I also recently bought some interesting coins on eBay, with the idea of incorporating them into my jewelry. Many cultures use coins as a part of their adornment to signify wealth. I made a pair of earrings a while back with some scalloped coins from Malta, with a bee sitting on a honeycomb on the front of them, and paired the coins with big briolettes of amber and yellow sapphire briolettes hanging from them. They were a favorite design, and I was sad to see them go when they sold. I started searching the internet for a source for more of the amber briolettes (they were REALLY hard to find!), and finally tracked down a single strand of them, which I snapped up. The first thing I thought of was that I could recreate that design for myself, and I did. These amber honey earrings are my new favorite (I'm wearing them as I type this), and they are all mine! :D

Another pair of coins I bought were some 1952, one Pice coins from Pakistan. These coins were interesting to me because of their unique shape - rather like a big washer. The shape of the coins, and a topic that came up in one of the belly dance forums I belong to inspired these earrings. We were discussing the New Age of belly dance costumes, and the changes we have seen in styles of costumes, and I was thinking about how tribal people would use some of the modern things we have around in abundance, like washers, nuts, and other hardware items, if they had ready access to them. Because the coins were shaped like big washers, I paired them with brass washers of different sizes, and the more traditional coral and turquoise stone beads. I hand forged the ear wires out of sterling wire, but coiled them with more of the copper wire I used to link the various parts of the earrings, to tie the design all together.

The last piece I have to share with you today is the first of a pair of leaf-shaped earrings inspired by a pair of gold earrings in the Indian jewelry book. My version is the same size as the original (7.5 x 3.8cm), but where the Indian earrings were made of solid sheets of gold with granulation and wire work, mine are silver, and intricately wrapped with wire, and, therefore, are much lighter to wear. I am still finishing up the second of these earrings, so they are not listed in my etsy shop yet, but they will be soon.

I have a couple other pieces I am wrapping up as well (pun intended), but those will have to wait until my next post. Hope you enjoyed the show! Thanks for stopping by.
all the best,


K S Jewellery Designs said...

Hey Pippi! I'm so glad you're still finding time to create some more of your beautiful jewellery. I love those paisley designs and thank you for sharing your inspiration.
Kristin :)

pippijewelry said...

Making jewelry is like breathing for me, Kristin. I couldn't NOT make it!
I have been working most of this afternoon on a stunning hairpin for the Etsy Wire Artisans Guild theme challenge - Ming Dynasty. I am really pleased with how it is turning out. :D
Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Val Zdero said...

These pieces look amazing Pippi - such gorgeous and very detailed wire wrapping - you are the master :D

pippijewelry said...

Thank you, Val!
I wouldn't call myself a master yet, but I do see my work getting better and more detailed as I progress. I appreciate the compliment, though. :D

Shay Stone said...

Beautiful, awesome, wonderful!!! I always love seeing your work Pippi:) I too am enamored with jewelry from other cultures. I haven't specifically looked at India, and that book you got looks really good. I may have to go check that out!

pippijewelry said...

Oh, Shay, you will LOVE it! :D

White Gold Earrings said...

i love to collect Gold Earrings and i have huge collection of Gold Earrings , i always love to search for something unique,actually unique Gold Earrings increase stars in my confident.i feel so confident when i wear different designs of Gold Earrings.