3/29/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Fairies

"A fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural." ~ Wikipedia
I think what image we have in mind when thinking of a fairy is very much influenced by illustrations in children's books, old descriptions or animated movies. Most of us probably think of tiny creatures with wings at first, ethereal looking, that are living in flowers or something like that.
So when I helped out with the topic for the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge and chose "Fairies", members were not sure because they thought they didn't have anything ethereal to show.
Why, however, should a fairy not wear jewelry inspired by nature's shapes, creations or colors?
I think any fairy would like to pick one of these pieces, and as usual there are more to find if you click the link above.


1 and 6 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 and 5 Violetmoon's Corner
3 and 8 Cat's Wire
4 RioRita
7 MC Stoneworks

3/28/2017

Artist collaborations

The month is coming to an end (and the first quarter of the year with it, time does fly!) which means it's time for another blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community.

Collaborations are not unusual in the creative world, from paintings to books to, you guessed it, jewelry.
You may expect to see some HeatherCats now as inspired by the wonderful paintings of my friend Heather from Essencestudios. That is not the kind of collaboration I want to talk about today, though. Heather didn't originally paint her cats for me to turn them into jewelry. She painted them and after I made the patterns I showed them to her for approval and then turned them into jewelry. (And I know there haven't been any for too long, but something is in planning because I still love the paintings as much as ever)

Let me go back in time a few years instead. Back then we still had our old forum, the Starving Jewelry Artists, and we had the Starving Artists Team on Etsy.
This team collaborated on two occasions, the SATeam Holiday Wrist Candy Giveaways in 2009 and 2010. We had decided on bracelets because for a team whose members were situated all over the world it was the easiest way to make one piece of jewelry together.
Everyone would make a charm in their own style and then we would all send them to one member who assembled the bracelet and took the pictures. I have to admit I'm not sure anymore who it was, so I rather leave out the name instead of telling the wrong one,  but she did a great job. The results were beautiful - one topic was "Flowers" and the other "Christmas".

I hope the winners still enjoy their bracelets, they were crafted and assembled with love. Just imagine the variety of techniques that went into them! We had lampworkers, we had wire wrappers, we had beaders, we had silversmiths, and more. I was mostly still wire crocheting at that time.
Of course I have some pictures for you to look at, too, if you are curious now.





You know, I think it would be fun to have a collaboration again. It sure has been a while.

Interested in what the other JAC members have to say? Check it out here.

Jewelry Art by Dawn
Violetmoon's Corner 

3/26/2017

Quote of the week

I don't know if it's the same where you are, but when I look at my TV guide, sometimes it seems to me that a big part of TV consists of "reality TV", cooking shows, fashion makeovers and/or shopping, and different kind of quizzes. Well, and sitcoms and crime shows, of course.
What is it about quizzes? Why are they so popular? Is it all about seeing someone crack the million dollar question or do we like to exercise our own brains every, now and then?

When DI Lewis and DS Hathaway are called to a murder of a quiz participant in an Oxford college, Lewis has a question for his sergeant.

Lewis: What do you think about quizzes?
Hathaway: Terminally pointless. Right up there with slugs and black pudding.


Lewis, UK, 2006 - 2015


P.S. I sometimes miss the pub quizzes we used to go to. Even if we couldn't win a million bucks there, we always had fun - and were quite tired the next morning!

3/22/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Home

One of the magnets on my fridge says "Home is where your cat is". That may be true for me, but what's home to you? If you had to pick an item to depict where you are from, what would that be?
This was the question of the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. It didn't mean just our houses, but our towns, states or countries - and we struggled a little with it because not everything that says home is easy to translate into jewelry. I mean can you imagine me making a spätzle necklace?
And so the group was a little smaller this time which doesn't mean I don't have anything to show you, though.


1/3/5/8 Jewelry Art by Dawn

1 - Dawn found this fall leaf during one of her walks in town.
3 - Lunaria flowers are also called "money plants" because their seed pods remind of silver dollars. The original name is Latin from luna, the moon, because the pods also resemble the moon.
5 - The froggy that inspired this painted cutie lived in one of Dawn's potted plants.


8 - The pine tree outside her studio gave Dawn the idea for this pendant.

2/6/7 MC Stoneworks

2 - Michele has a beautiful garden which attracts butterflies.
6 - The boot reprents Texas, the state where she lives.
7 - The orchid reminds of the lovely orchids in her bathroom.

4/9 Cat's Wire

Well, I said it already. Home is where my cats are ;-)

3/18/2017

Random Saturday - The Laurin mark

It was a Saturday night after dinner, my sister and I were hanging out in front of the TV when she showed me a silver ring of hers that she had bought at one of her favorite fleamarkets many years ago. She had got herself a loupe some time ago and was curious what the marks in her ring meant.



Of course we both knew the 835 meant the content of silver. Nowadays jewelry is usually sterling silver which is marked 925, but I still have 835 silver jewelry myself from my teenage days. It means that 835/1000 silver was used, the rest was copper and nickel.

Next was the F with the star which we found online as the mark of W. Frey & Co. from Pforzheim, a city which is famous for its jewelry manufacturing and is even called "City of Gold" because of it. The company itself does not exist anymore, however.

What was that last mark, though? It was hard to read and it took me several attempts turning the ring this and that way under the loupe, taking my glasses off, putting them back on until I suddenly had the luck to get just the right angle to see it was a cursive "Ln" with a semicircle around it.
You know it is, once you know what you are looking at, it springs out at you, and my sister saw it, too.
And what did it mean? An online search took me to several sites - and to the Laurin mark.


The Laurin mark was a seal of quality that was used on jewelry manufactured between ca. 1934 and 1938. It got its name from Laurin, the King of Dwarves.
The campaign was supposed to instill trust in the marked jewelry and thus animate people to buy. It was not meant for cheap jewelry for which buyers didn't expect a guarantee nor expensive pieces, but for those in between.
All German manufacturers who accepted the given quality standards were allowed to use the Laurin mark on their jewelry.

Back to my sister's ring. The stone in the beautiful blue of an aquamarine is quite probably synthetic which obviously wasn't unusual for these times and until the 50s. To be able to tell the date and place of the ring's manufacturing like this, however, was really something, and above all it's a beautiful ring after all.
Now I wonder what stories it would be able to tell us if it could speak .....



Sources

While I found several pictures and short mentions of the mark, on auction sites for example, this was where I have found the most information so far (thank you to Antikschmuck Hofer for that!). For those who are not familiar with German and don't want to use an online translator - there are two advertisements for jewelry with the Laurin mark - one of them depicting the above mentioned King of Dwarves - and an article from a journal explaining the meaning of the Laurin campaign.

I also found this thread in a silver forum, this one's in English.

If I can find more eventually, I'll update this post.

3/15/2017

Oldies but goodies - Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, so it became the topic for this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
With this name which translates from the Latin into "water of the sea" it's no wonder that the GIA describes it like this "Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool." What do you think comes to mind when looking at this week's choices?


1 RioRita
2 Cat's Wire
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Violetmoon's Corner

3/08/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Beach

When I'm thinking of a beach, it will always be the one that my Californian friend took us every time we visited her. I loved the ride from Oakland going north on Highway 1. I am not an avid photographer, so I don't have many pictures, but when I close my eyes, I see all the spots we used to get out, Jenner, Point Reyes National Seashore, Bodega Bay, but also the spots on the way that didn't seem to change from year to year. The boarded-up building that used to be a restaurant, the trees on the side of the road, it's quite strange which memories the brain holds on to.
And then I see us of course, on the beach, me in my favorite shorts (one of the garments I'm holding on to for sentimental reasons, together with the otter t-shirt I got at Bodega Bay), the birds - some of them quite curious, no wonder, we had food. The walks through the sand looking for shells.
Okay, okay, enough memories now. They were triggered by this week's topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Here you are - the beach.


1 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 MC Stoneworks
3 Violetmoon's Corner
4 Cat's Wire
5 Betoj Designs