Our CC7A team is back to creating after a summer hiatus. This month Monique is hosting and she picked a beautiful photograph of St. John's in Newfoundland that she titled Colorful Chaos.
I didn't realize that the picture was North, in Canada. With all those colors I thought it was somewhere South, perhaps in South America. But I bet all those colors are beautiful peeking out of the snow in the dead of winter!
St. John's is said to be the oldest settlement in North America dating back to 1494 when John Cabot (a Venetian explorer) and his son Sebastian sailed into the harbor. And for the next 300 years this migratory fishing town turned into a strategic port that the French, Dutch and English continually battled for control. It ended with the French and Indian Wars in 1762 where the English successfully defeated the French in the battle of Signal hill and the French turned the city back over to the English.
I checked into why a Northern city might be painted so colorfully? It is an area called Jelly Bean Row. Tourist will ask to find the street or row where these house are, but it is a generic nickname that refers to all the row houses in the downtown area. Some say that they were originally painted so the fisherman could find their way home through the fog, which is a nice thought but not accurate. You can't see much through a dense fog no matter the color of the house.
They are actually the result of a revitalization began in the 1970s to the downtown in an effort to preserve the heritage of the houses that we're falling into disrepair and heading for demolition. One guy can be credited with the colors: David Webber, the Heritage Foundation Executive Director. He painted a sample block in bright colors. From there it spread like wildfire with people painting over the drab, dark colors of their houses and adding all kinds of fancy trims as well. At this point the majority of the downtown is decked out in these bright colors.
I got a little distracted in figuring out some history behind this picture, that I need to get to my project for this post! I went with the center colors in the pallet: orange - red hues. I love this piece of deep, cherry sea glass. I did another pattern with this red sea glass a while back that had an Egyptian feel to it. The red does sort of look like a burning sun hanging over a desert. I took some thick copper (14 gauge) and happily twisted and hammered away. Then shaped it around the glass so I could wire it in place. But first I dipped it in patina and tumbled it. I love how the tumbler takes the shiny edge off and buffs out the scratches from all my hammering. Last part of the design is a soft leather strap in the back that holds the necklace from shifting around too much.
And now on to all the rest of the CC7A artists: Monique (this month's host), Alicia, Christine, Therese and Sally