Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cyprus :: Boat Design

For years, I've had a love affair with this old Cypriot design (5th- 4th centuries B.C.) sometimes called the 'boat' design. I came across this design years ago from a replica by The Metropolitan Museum, and I have been wanting to incorporate it into a pair of earrings ever since but just hadn't found components I liked.

I love the simplicity and fluidity of this half moon shape, which has appeared in many materials such as crystal, carnelian, shades of metals; especially in copper. Perhaps the 'boat' shape comes from the area's fishing activity? That I couldn't confirm, but would make sense.

The island of Cyprus sits in the Mediterranean Sea, nestled up by Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. This location gave it a cross-road position in the area and strategic export trade for the Mycenean people who settle on the island. But it also made it a prime location for repeated invasions through the centuries. Thus, the island was visited, invaded and talked about through the ages in many languages. Writers have called it by names such as: Kryptos (Greek for hidden), Cuprum (Latin for copper), Kerastis (fertility), Kypris (name ancient writers gave to Aphrodite; including Homer), Kypros (Greek for Henna, a plant native to North Africa) but Kypros also means copper (pre-Greek word; Etocypriot language). Just to name a few, but there are many more. 

Most attribute the naming of the island back to the copper discovered on the island during the Bronze age (2500 B.C. to 1050 B.C.), which is pretty friken old in my book. 

While I love the smooth shaped stone of the Met's design, I wanted to use a metal in my earrings. It seems more like what would have been created in Cyprus centuries ago. I also decided to use a bit of chainmaille at the top to hold the design together and give it that old world look. I included earring posts with medieval flare that I'd been hoarding for some time, but have now found the perfect home. Maybe not exactly a 'replica' of the original Cypriot earrings, but I never seem to follow instructions to the letter. That's just me.

9 comments:

Therese's Treasures said...

Beautiful earrings, I like yours better than the Met's. Interesting history lesson as well, thank you for sharing.
Therese

Maryanne said...

I love these earrings! They are beautiful and I love the chainmaille addition. I like the metal better than the stone in the Met's pair.

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

I like your's better, too! Because of the way they hang from the ear wire, the boat shape is not just a silhouette and you see the full shape of the curved metal - very pretty!

And personally, there is nothing more creative than a successful spin-off design, as opposed to exact copy!

Alice said...

Gorgeous!I love that design. Very elegant.

Miss Val's Creations said...

These are gorgeous Cynthia! I love the inspiration piece. It is a unique shape we don't see much of these days.

Karen Williams said...

Great interpretation of a classic design! Beautiful.

kimmykats said...

I really like "that's just me"...what a neat pair of earrings!!!

Magic Love Crow said...

Fantastic! Another interesting post! Love the earrings ;o)

Duni said...

Wow, these are gorgeous! I like the hammered crescent :)

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