Destination – Stade, Germany! Challenge of Travel reveal

Challenge of Travel

Once again Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati has created a cohesive yet diverse and individual challenge. The brief: Select a region, then a country. Create an accessory or your choice that evokes that nation. Sounds simple. Yet the possibilities are endless. 


I chose Europe: Germany. Seems like the least exotic choice when the world is laid at your feet, or at least your Interweb accessing fingertips. My heritage is Celtic. All Celtic. I am approximately 1/4 Irish, 1/8 Welsh, 1/8 Scottish, and you guessed it – 1/2 German. The German part of my heritage hasnt spoken as loudly as the island Celtic bits… I have lived in London and felt at home there. I have visited Edinburgh, Scotland and the bagpipes stir my blood. I have trekked Wales from waterfalls to Medieval castles. And I have seen treasures in the Rebublic of Ireland, from the Book of Kells to romantic crumbling ruins. I have never been to Germany. Ever. It seemed fair to give the other part a fair investigation. 

I wanted to stay away from the cultural icons of Oktoberfest, beer steins, the Black Forest, the fairy tale turrets of Nueschwanstein. I read lists of famous Germans, articles on Anglo Saxons, and have an enticing list of folk tales to pursue in the future. I wrote a pair of teaser posts on German notable persons and German artists. But it was still all too much…

Oktoberfest  steinBlack Forest folk costume Nueschwanstein

So I turned to the research done by a distant cousin on my mother’s side; the history of the Boesch family – my maternal grandfather’s heritage. The branch of the Boesch family can be traced back to Stade in the mid 1600’s. 

Boesch chronicles

Unified Germany is so large, with so many distinct regions – I found it much easier after I decided to focus on the city of Stade. 

Travel challenge sketchbook

Stade coat of arms griffin

I was inspired by the griffins on the city’s coat of arms, and there was also a key. I like that symbolism, unlocking a bit of my ancestry.  I have wanted to do a copper pipe shrine for a while, and this was the time to experiment… Shield shapes to reference the coat of arms…

in progress

Words stamped in German: “history & my country”. A map showing Stade from my mother’s girlhood Encyclopedia Brittanica atlas. (Yes – the days of door to door encyclopedia salesmen. My Grandpa invested in a set – and I still have them…) Slivers of mica. 

Components ready

Stade is located in northern Germany just outside Hamburg on the river Elbe. 

map north Germany

So with all this going on in my head – this is what I created: 

The top copper piece has an overlay of antique paper covered in resin. It is in German, from a book of unknown origins. Lovely Gothic font, and at least 200 years old. The griffin image is framed at the center, and key dangle. I had used a tube rivet to hang the dangle, but it was awkward going through the rivet. Turned – much better. To complete the piece – chunky stones (calcedony) and copper chain, 18-20″ long. I wanted the griffin image to be seen clearly so it is not recessed into the depth of the center chamber. 


The back allows you to see into the center chamber with the vintage map and a few glass beads for movement. The top two corners are joined with micro bolts that I sawed off and riveted to secure the piece. 

back view

It will be fun to wear – in the fall. I have to admit – the large area of the copper does stick to one’s skin in the humid late summer. I often use words, an dcreate pieces with a meaning. I also enjoy creating a piece with a secret. The wearer knows of the secreet and chooses to reveal and share or to concel and remain quiet. It creates an interaction and a dynamic between the wearer and the viewer. This piece certainly fulfills that, and I had a fantastic time reading and researching and creating. 

Please take time to tour the world – in under 80 days! My fellow travelers are listed at Erin’s Treasures found blog or the following map. Have fun!


Name Blog Region Chosen Inspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers Africa Egypt
Therese Frank Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg Asia India
Tanya Goodwin Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy Asia Japan
Beth Emery Asia Japan
Lisa Cone Asia Japan
Tanya Boden Asia Japan
Inge von Roos Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo Europe Sweden
Kim Hora Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price Oceania Vanuatu





36 thoughts on “Destination – Stade, Germany! Challenge of Travel reveal

  1. Sherri Stokey says:

    Wow – you are uber talented. I’m drooling (and I never use that word) over your necklace. I have done quite a bit of genealogy research (maiden name Hartman – pure German!) & I’m a jewelry fanatic, so everything about your post appeals to me. If the purpose of art is to make a connection with someone, you’ve done that well.


  2. jenny says:

    Thank you, Sherri! Wow. A piece like this was created for me – yet like all my work I want it to have symbolism and a deeper meaning. It means alot to me when htat is shared and well recieved. I have plans to do more research this winter – the off season as it seems to be. I want to track down my elusive Welsh!


    • jenny says:

      Sometimes the research is half the fun! And can yield ideas for the future. I will admit to being a history fan, and am always reading myth… Thanks for stopping in!


  3. Monique U. (A Half-Baked Notion) says:

    Jenny, this was very interesting for me on a personal level. Though I have no German ancestry (that I know of), I was born in the town of Zweibrücken, in the south-west near the French border. My father was in the Canadian military, and European postings were common in the 1950’s and 60’s. I have especially enjoyed your creative process, and admire your metal work. The stamped German words are an authentic detail. That secret compartment is so intriguing… what a special place in such a personal touchstone. Did you choose the city of Stade particularly because it is of family significance?


    • jenny says:

      Oops – I worked on my 3 German posts for days – and neglect that crucial link. YES! The research on the Boesch family, our branch, can be traced back to Stade  in the mid 1600’s! I wasnt even sure where in Germany Stade was – so this challenge was very informative.  Have you ever been back? To Zweibrucken? You may not have any emotional attachment to the place, if you left while young, but it would be interesting… Thank you for your kind words! I was happy with my results, but it is very fulfilling to share them and get feedback! 


  4. Cassi says:

    Oh, I love how that turned out –the back with the secret map, and the overlay of antique paper! It’s wonderful.

    My mother comes from just outside of Hamburg as well –a small town called Itzehoe. That’s where I visited when I was a 12, with a great-aunt who still lived there. It was a beautiful town.


    • jenny says:

      I hope to go some day. I have been to Vienna ( briefly) and Switzerland… How wonderful to have had an experience with living relatives! 


  5. Melissa says:

    You’ve created a family heirloom there I think! I loved reading about your family history and your process of discovery. Your necklace has captured a lot of meaning on many levels. Fantastic!


  6. Kristen Stevens says:

    I am so blown away by your creation and how you looked to your own history to make your piece. I have screaming Celt blood too but I have to say you really did Germany proud!


  7. Erin Prais Hintz says:

    Miss Jenny, my first comment got lost 😦 let’s try this again…
    First I want to say that your comments about my challenges just tickles me. Exactly what I am hoping for… That these challenges won’t be easy, that you will learn something new and that they are completely individualized.

    I love the way your mind works. Seeing your thought processes is very exciting for me. I feel that I learn a little more about you with each new reveal!

    I love keys and messages and things that look like they have a bit of history. This is a very beautiful and special piece.
    Thank you for joining me on this journey. Enjoy the day. Erin


    • jenny says:

      …we will already know each other! I have said before- I use challenges like this to play, experiment. Since I have committed to participate, I have to work in the studio, but I have permission to play!  Sure I could have chosen Cornwall, England and rocked it. But Germany was more of a challenge….Thanks for the inspiration, Erin. Our fearless leader and tour guide!


  8. Patti Vanderbloemen says:

    Okay – my father’s name is Vanderbloemen, my mother’s maiden name is Schneider – I am actually more German than Dutch and Germany is another country on my bucket list! Your piece is utterly fantastic – I cannot come up with two better adjectives…I am so impressed with this piece! Absolutly wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this!


    • jenny says:

      Thanks Patti! I was always drawn to the minority in my heritage- the Welsh, Scottish, and Irish. Yet half German?! I couldn’t ignore it any longer. And I have some folk tale ideas for the future…glad you liked it! Thank you for your kind words…should I wear it to ArtBliss?


  9. Lee says:

    What an incredible idea! I’m a genealogy buff and have had quite a bit of fun chasing ancestors so your inspiration really resonated with me. I am fascinated with your thought process as you created. What a wonderful and meaningful piece. You have inspired me to think about creating something that would represent my own heritage. What a great blog hop challenge THAT would make!


    • jenny says:

      Why not? I would sign up fro that challenge for sure! Did you see the previous comment from Patti “Land of Blooming Flowers” Vanderblomen? She was inspired by similar themes.  I like the challenges of creating a well designed pieces that looks good as well as meeting the brief of the hop, and my own meaning and symbolism. Its great creative problem solving!


  10. ToltecJewels says:

    Riveting, metals, maps, gothic font, griffin, key and copper chain — AWESOME! Thank you for sharing a personal Germany, and your outstanding, powerful art.

    You make the journey a key to the universe!



  11. Alice says:

    Oh I love a good genealogy story, mine or anyone else’s. Your necklace is fabulous with all the diffrent techniques you used. What a great piece to hand down generation to generation.


    • jenny says:

      Thanks Alice! I love the research and the history of a family… Its a shame that many of my Grandparent’s era did NOT want to share. Their generation was trying to forget the past, to live the dream…and a lot of details and personal information has gotten lost. I regret not writing down things my Grandmothers told me years ago. 


  12. Emma Todd says:

    I love a little secret in a piece of jewelry. I’m so glad you shared the whole process and how you opted for this personal angle. Which, given your reason for picking Germany in the first place, seems only fitting. Lovely work!


  13. Holly says:

    What a wonderful tour guide you were for this visit in Germany! I absolutely love what you’ve created, and the story of it’s creation is awesome. That pendant is amazing 😉

    Oh, and there were indeed Celts in sections of Germany, they were the first Celts that Julius Caesar encountered. Just fyi 😉


  14. Therese says:

    Thank you for taking me along with you to Germany the home of my ancestors. I am 1/8 Irish, 1/8 Scottish and 3/4 German. I lived in Germany when I was a young girl my Dad was in the Air Force it is a beautiful country and the people are very nice. I love your necklace the design is wonderful. A lot of thought and planing went into the design. I am curious about the secret it holds for the wearer. It is a very special keepsake to remember your German heritage.


  15. saraccino says:

    The necklace is so gorgeous! I really love the ideas and thoughts which went into it as well as it looks (even with the little hint of steampunk :))

    I am half part scotish, half part german… but grew up and still live in germany.

    (ssh… by the way: “Mein Erbe” means my heritage… my country would be “Mein Land”)


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