Sunday, January 13, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge: Lesley Watt

AJE (Art Jewelry Elements) has put out a challenge asking jewelry designers to create a pair of earrings each week for 13 weeks. The challenge is actually for all of 2013, but they are breaking up groups into 3 months at a time. I signed up for the first group. 

The rules are pretty simple. Create a pair of earrings using art beads or art components, and note (in a blog post) who made them.

This is my first pair, and I used some gorgeous bronze headpins by Lesley Watt of THEAtoo. I absolutely love these headpins. They are a great weight, the wire was easy to work with and they are simply a beautiful pattern. I used some turquoise heshi beads with lots of veining to really play on the beautiful color of the bronze by Lesley. Now on my Etsy.

I decided to take a look at the history behind turquoise and found that the stone has been used for thousands of years, in fact it dates back to ancient Egypt and Persia. Ok, I didn't know that. The stone was thought to bring good fortune. Some used it as a tailsman, worn around the neck or waist, as protection against unnatural death. And if it changed color the wearer was thought to have reason to fear the approach of doom. Right. The original 'mood ring.'  In reality, the change in color can be caused by light or a chemical reaction from cosmetics or the acidity of the skin.

Turquoise shows up in King Tut's burial mask, which makes sense as he is widely known for being sickly. The stone in the mask likely came from the Sinai Peninsula then called the 'Country of Turquoise.' The Egyptians loved to used the stone in great sweeping necklaces, and when King Tut's tomb was excavated in the early 20th century it brought on Egyptian Revival jewelry.

The modern name for turquoise comes from an old French word for 'Turkish' because the stone was first brought to Europe (likely along the silk road) from Turkey. Much of it came from the historical mines in Khorasan province of Iran. Iranians used the stone as inlay in palaces as it's intense blue color was the symbol of heaven on earth.

In the Americas it dates back to the Aztecs who called it 'teoxihuiti' and used it as inlay in many items including ceremonial masks, knives and shields. The Pueblo, Navajo and Apache used it as an amulet with the Apache believing that the stone gave an archer dead aim. Native American Peoples used turquoise as beads and freeform pendants, and are thought to have greatly influenced its production and use.

It is amazing how much history this one stone has, and across so many continents. 

26 comments:

Lesley said...

I love how you've used my headpins Cynthia. Turquoise is one of my favourite SP gems and as a colour it's the one that I think works the very best with bronze and I get drawn back to the combination time and again.

Alice said...

Oops, am I late to the party? I thought the first reveal date was on the 20th....!

Your earrings are beautiful! I love the bronze and turquoise together. Thanks for the history lesson on this stone.

kimmykats said...

Cynthia, I always love coming here to first see your beautiful creations and then learn. I love your blog!!!!(and you)

AntiquityTravelers said...

Alice - nope you're not late! it is the 20th, but they also said to post 2 at a time since it will be a link every 2 weeks. So I decided to post my first pair now ... and another pair in a week or so

Kashmira said...

These are so pretty!

And I really enjoy your posts (although I don't comment as often as I should) because there is so much more information you give along with your creations. That's so cool :)

Magic Love Crow said...

I love turquoise so much! It has been a favorite stone of mine for a very long time! I go to a large stone festival in the summer and I have noticed, it's so hard to get good turquoise now! I love the earrings and I love all the history you shared with us ;o) Have a great day ;o)

Miss Val's Creations said...

Interesting history Cynthia! Turquoise is so beautiful. Your earrings are gorgeous. I love those headpins from Lesley!!! The bronze looks so pretty with the stone's matrix.

Caron Michelle said...

Love these earrngs - and for the prompt! I enjoyed reading about some of the history of turquoise, entertaining blog post.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Turquoise is my absolute favorite stone, and your earrings are stunning! Having seen King Tut's mask in person, I can tell you that it is stunning, too! Nice post!

Introverted Art said...

I live this color combination of turquoise and bronze. It looks very beautiful

Rose said...

I love the history that you share for your pieces! Best of luck with the challenge. Also, I agree that the turquoise and bronze combination is stunning. :)

BeadedTail said...

The history was so interesting! I would never have imagined it being in King Tut's burial mask. Your earrings are so pretty! Those headpins are incredible!

P.S. AJE to me means Adjusting journal entry. Ugh!

Patti Van said...

Turquoise...the December birthstone (my birthstone!) is one of my favorites, as are Lesley's headpins! Gorgeous earrings! And thank you for the info on this beautiful gemstone!

Sharyl said...

Beautiful combination!

Duni said...

I love those turquoise beads and the story behind them.These earrings are so pretty!!

BamaTrav said...

I need a pirate themed one please. xo

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Beautiful earrings! I love the pattern on the leaves and the turquoise is so pretty!

Bobbie said...

The headpins are lovely, and the earrings are beautiful. I'm a sucker for turquoise, anyway, but the copper really sets it off perfectly. I love how you always teach us something along with the eye candy -- the history of turquoise was so interesting!

New End Studio said...

Fascinating history of a beautiful stone. Your earrings are beautiful and the headpins were a great choice.

I better start wearing my turquoise again since now I know it's thought to bring good fortune!

Additionsstyle said...

I did not know all that about turquoise, thanks for sharing that history. Love your earrings the turquoise was a nice choice with those head pins.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Marcela Gmd said...

Lovely!!!
Besos, Marcela♥

Ashley of Southern (California) Belle said...

Turquoise earrings! I love it, I think that subtle pop of color is perfect for and LBD night :)

xo

Ashley

Southern (California) Belle

Marti C. said...

Very pretty earrings and I appreciate the information. Very interesting!

alankarshilpa said...

Those earrings are beautiful. I love the color combination. You gave so much in this blog. It was nice to know about my favorite stone, turquoise. Take care and Happy New year. Dita

Kathy Lindemer said...

I love your earrings. I am a big fan of copper and turquoise together.

Elena Brown said...

I've never seen earrings like these before! Thank you for the giveaway.so gorgeous! Actually breath taking.

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