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.