Sunday, November 11, 2012

Brit Pack Beaders' Challenge :: Bath

When I saw the call from the Brit Pack Beaders over at Artisan Whimsy to create a piece of jewelry inspired from one of the 5 cities (Dorset, Edinburgh, Bath, Liverpool, Southampton, or the Isle of Wight) the team is from I had to jump in! Any one of these places would be fantastic to use as inspiration given all the history. You guys all know what a history nerd I am.

I knew immediately I'd pick Bath from this list as I am such a HUGE Jane Austen fan. I've read every book many times; to the point that I can quote passages. Oops .. did I say that out loud? 

While I love to see some of the characters come to life in the many movies made from her books, the books themselves do have a richness of story that is hard to get into cinema. But when it came to fashion inspiration, I admit I did turn to the movies to review the clothing, necklines, jewelry ... my favorite Jane Austen story is Persuasion, yes I own several versions of this movie. I hear you all laughing at me out there, but I'm not listening. This is her last novel, and I think her most mature character in Anne Elliot. I decided to take Anne Elliot as my inspiration, and her time spent in Bath attempting to be a part of the local social circle. Going to concerts, the pump house to drink the waters or a party at the home of one of the socialites. I just get lost in another time and place when I read Austen.

Ok, so for the research. Austen is always talking about ribbons. Who knew anyone could be so obsessed with them? They are tied around your waist, on a hat or used as a closure to a cape... just in case you have a spare cape lying around. 

There are also plenty of pearls used for jewelry, or is that jewellry for you Brits out there!  The look is simple but elegant. Most necklace lengths seemed to be right up at the collar bone, or as a choker. 

Right. So, I created a velvet pearl choker. You didn't see that coming I'm sure. The closure itself is the focal. It is a marcasite box clasp (one of my most favorite materials to use). I used black velvet with pearls as it made it dressy for a night out in society. 

I did make it reversible. In the back I used a much simpler pearl pattern so that it was more black than white. So depending on your mood you can go with a stack of pearls or a a more subtle focus with the black velvet. And if you wear your hair up; you get both!

For a compliment to the choker, I decided to create marcasite, pearl earrings. I've been playing around with beading vs wire wrapping lately. This pair is beaded with fireline. It made for a very delicate look to the earrings with micro Swarovski crystal dangles.


A quick shout out to one of the Brit Pack hosts: Pippa Chandler who is from the Bath area. The city of Bath was named by the Romans who built one of their famed spas in what was then called Britannia (or England). The one in England is the most reknown, but the Roman's loved their spas and there are others. I went looking, as you knew I would, and found them located in: Pompeii (Italy), Odesses (Bulgaria), Weißenburg (Germany), Manilva (Spain), St Paul's Bay (Malta), Caesarea (Israel). I've been to Bath (in England) several times and marveled at how they piped and heated the baths with natural thermal water. Yet another feat of engineering by the Romans. It is absolutely worth visiting. The central 'Great Bath' is stunning to see, and the museum is of course a favorite of mine. One thing I found so fascinating was the ancient graffiti that was translated. It made a piece of history feel so everyday.

32 comments:

Linda Y said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous pieces. These are beautiful!

Jean A. Wells said...

My goodness, my mouth actually dropped open. I can't tell which is an old picture of a Jane Austin character or which is you. I assume you are the ones on the bottom. That is one gorgeous set of jewelry - so perfect for this challenge. Wow....did I mention, Wow? Great, great job! You make me feel like such a loser.

Introverted Art said...

The earring are amazing. I love the UK and the earrings are so royal looking.

Christine Altmiller said...

you are my favorite history lesson each week :-) and no test at the end of the semester. This choker and earrings are beautiful! So classic in their clean black/white/marcasite. Very elegant!

Mama Zen said...

My word! These are gorgeous!

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

What a fun take on this challenge! I love how you made the choker reversible! Great earrings too!

BeadedTail said...

Those pieces are gorgeous! I've never read anything by Jane Austen - can you believe it? Sounds like I need to add them to my list though!

Marla said...

Stunning! Great Post! FYI Bello Modo on facebook has been giving your blog a couple of shout outs today. I thought it was kind of cool lol. I know a celebrity! http://www.facebook.com/bellomodo

kendra kay said...

thank so much for linking up with us at an aloha affair! so happy to have you. have a great week-end!
www.kendrakaypahukoa.blogspot.com

LisaS said...

Wonderful jewelry pieces! The earrings are so delicate ;)

Sharyl said...

Jane Austen, my favorite! And I so want to visit Bath!

Your jewelry is completely amazing! It would not even occur to me to attempt such a piece! Wouldn't anyone feel completely regal in those!? Lovely, lovely!

Duni said...

That set is simply gorgeous! The earrings are so elegant and I love the beautiful clasp on the choker! I've read all of Jane Austen's books as well :) I love the slower pace of life back then (or so it seems).

New End Studio said...

Gorgeous! Like the reversibility, you have made a beautiful set.

I drove through Bath, but did not go to the baths, did go to a tearoom/cafe and had a great double fruit pie.

Isn't it amazing how Jane's work has been revived through the years?

Kathy Lindemer said...

Beautiful pieces!

Islandgirl said...

Lovely pieces, very fitting to the era you were trying to depict!! I haven't been to Bath..., but I've seen other ancient Baths!

Lori Anderson said...

LOVE this post and that dress -- mmm! I'm a huge fan of books with British history -- any suggestions you want to throw my way, feel free!

Evi @ sexta-feira said...

Stunning!

Caron Michelle said...

Absolutely divine - love the story and the set - simply fabulous!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

O wow, absolutely perfect! You did a brilliant job :))

Patti Van said...

This was a fabulous post today! Your designs are ingenius - love how the choker can be worn two ways! Such romantic pieces! Beautiful job!

Pips said...

Well I am just stunned!! My gosh but your pieces are just so beautiful and perfect. Exactly captures the feel of the Austen period. Fantastic, so glad you chose Bath as your region of inspiration - beautiful, beautiful work!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Cynthia,
Gorgeous set! I love how you made the choker reversible, just stunning! I would have had fits making the dangles on the earrings with fireline, but it does make the dangles more delicate.
Therese

Gale said...

I've been to several of those baths, including Malta, Caesaria, and Pompeii--but Bath is truly special. And if I were a Jane Austen character, I'd be happy to make my debut in your lovely set! The back is as pretty as the front, too.

Shalini Austin said...

Awesome pieces. Especially love the earrings. Elegant and classic!

Lesley said...

Absolutely stunning Cynthia - I think the BBC costume department would love you! Thanks for taking part.

Marcela Gmd said...

Beautiful pieces!!! great inspiration!!!
Have a good week, dear friend!

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

Jo said...

What beautiful work! I do love the earrings especially. Thank you for taking part in our challenge!

windbent said...

Lovely and very "period". I'm really enjoying everyone's entries.

Kashmira said...

I am amazed at your knowledge of Jane Austen! You noticed she likes ribbons :)

The necklace is reallllllly pretty, love that its reversible. And you are such a great model for it!

Cece Cormier said...

Beautiful work. Really a stunning set.

About Last Weekend said...

Loved Bath especially after studying Latin for so many years and that forehead necklace - what is the real name for that is beautiful.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful work Cynthia! I LOVE the vintage feel of these pieces. What a great idea making the choker reversible! Now I wanted to re-read an Austen novel!!! Bath is on my super long list of places to visit. :)

AntiquityTravelers on Etsy