Friday, February 27, 2015

Pearl Roman Earrings

Continuing with the Roman garb-making theme, I also made a pair of freshwater pearl earrings-

Similar earrings can be seen in the Fayum mummy portraits below. I omitted the pearl at the top of the bar (where the earring hook joins the end bar) because I did not have any pearls of matching size and shape that would suit.

art stare Ancient Art John Berger Coptic Mummy portraits faiyum+mummy+portraits fayum fayum mummy portraits the shape of a pocket these look like modernist paintings
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(I love this whole outfit!)

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blue and Silver Roman Earrings

As I mentioned in the last post, I will soon need a Roman outfit. I love making accessories (especially jewellery) because it provides almost instant impact for an outfit, and is usually relatively fast. Today I made a pair of earrings up in the Roman style. The findings are silver, and the stones are natural gemstones marketed as 'blue tiger's eye'. I used short silver eye hooks and end bars to make the earrings.

I use the little eye hook to bend the end of the eye hook around to make a neat loop.

The open end of the loop is threaded onto one of the holes on the bottom of the end bar and closed over.

When all the beaded eye hooks were attached, I added the earring hooks.

I also made up a simple string of blue glass beads to go with the earrings. The beads are strung on tiger tail wire and secured with crimps.

Although the beads are not all the same shade of blue, I think they make a nice set:

This jewellery was inspired by the Fayum mummy portraits, especially this image-


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hot weather and thinking of cooler garb styles

We have had a run of 40 degree celsius (plus) days where I live, which has made me really think about lighter types of pre-sixteenth century clothing. I am working on a lot of projects for other people right now, but a Roman tunica is on the cards. My SCA group also has a Viking event coming up this year, so I will be making some Viking garb down the track.

I have procrastinated about making Viking garb for many years, but have been accumulating the appropriate jewellery and beads along the way. This week I strung a couple of strings of beads to go with my turtle brooches. I did two strings, and left space for a couple more to be added in the years to come.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Venetian necklace and brooch set

You might remember this little gem that I found in a thrift store last year.

Since then I have removed the chain and made a necklace out of Baroque freshwater pearls and small tiger-eye gemstones. I also glued a brooch back onto the back of the pendant. I made a second, shorter matching necklace as well. These will be great with front lacing Italian style gowns.

Paolo Caliari Veronese Portrait of a Woman
Paolo Caliari Veronese Portrait of a Woman circa 1555
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Leandro Bassano Portrait of a Woman with a Lute
 Leandro Bassano - Portrait of a Female Singer with a Lute
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Multi-strand Elizabethan Girdle and Necklace

I really like the multi-strand necklaces which were so popular with the Elizabethans, and for quite a while I have been wanting to make a multi-strand Elizabethan girdle. And of course, the necklace to match!

The trend appears in late sixteenth-century portraits of both men and women, in England, France and Spain. Which is probably not surprising, given that the style is an excellent way of demonstrating that you have masses of jewels strung together in a very cosmopolitan style!

Portrait of a Woman 1567
Portrait of a Woman - 1567
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LOUISE DE LORRAINE (1553 - 1601) Queen of France from 1575 to 1589 married to HENRI III. She 1st caught the eye of , Henry III, in 1574. . Louise was not only attractive & sweet-natured, but who also resembled the Princess of Condé, Marie de Clèves, whom Henry III was infatuated. He remembered Louise long after he left France. Louise worshipped her husband, who in response fussed over her.
Portrait of Louise de Lorraine
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Portrait of a Lady from the Wentworth Family by Hans Eworth
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Portrait of Margaret Gerard, Lady Legh, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by HM Government and allocated to the National Trust for display at Lyme Park, 2011. ©National Trust Collections
Portrait of Margaret Gerard, Lady Leigh, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
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Portrait of Elizabeth Knollys, Lady Leighton, attributed to George Gower, 1577.  This lady, a first cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth, was the sister of Lettice Knollys. She served as one of Elizabeth's Gentlewomen of the Privy Chamber.
Portrait of Elizabeth Knollys, Lady Leighton, attributed to George Gower, 1577.
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King Charles IX, circa 1572, by or after Clouet. Palace of Versailles.
Portrait of King Charles IX, circa 1572, by or after Clouet
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Portrait of Robert Dudley
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Henry II of France..jpg
Henry II of France
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Not being nearly as wealthy as a courtier or Royal (!) I ordered some white 4mm seed beads in bulk from an online supplier. I also got some red natural gemstone beads to use as the focus bead. I used four strands of tiger tail. The four strands went through a focus bead (the dark red ones) and then were strung separately with twelve seed beads. Then all four strings of tiger tail were threaded through a focus bead, and the whole process started again. Not a hard job, but a little tedious. It was certainly hard to hold all four of the tiger tail wires when they all wanted to go in different directions!

I put a clip on the bottom of the girdle piece that hangs down so I can change pomanders/accessories whenever I like. The two middle pieces and long middle hanging piece were all made separately and joined at the end because to do them as one joined piece would have meant there was too much wire trying to go through the tiny holes in the beads. I used crimps to close off the ends of the pieces and a hook and loop on the ends that go around the waist.

The trick at the end is to adjust the tension of the individual strands so they spread out a bit before closing up the crimps.

I am really happy with the end result!