Back in time: my Celtic inspiration

 One last timehop, one last stop on the Beading Back in Time travel schedule. This final installment encourages artist to select their favorite time period. Mine will inevitably be Celtic, time and time again. For fresh inspiration, I grabbed a few books and a cup of coffee… started sketching. No pre-conceived idea, just browsing at first. 

celtic sketches

The crescent “lunula” shape has been on my mind for a while. Its a recurring motif in Celtic, Slavic, Russion cultures. As a lunar symbol it is associated with women. The moon rules ocean tides, and a woman’s tides. The moon, seen as female, embodies the stages of one’s life in the lunar stages – from Maiden to Mother, to wise Crone.

lunula references

Diagram of lunula pendants - I'm trying to translate the text from Russion, with Google's asistance... 

Blessington Lunula  Crafty Celts lunula

1. Gold lunula from Blessington, Ireland, Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age, c. 2400BC – 2000BC, Classical group ( from Wiki)
2. Lunula pendant in bronze from the Crafty Celts. "Lunula amulets date back to the end of the Bronze Age, and continued to be worn into modern times. They were common in Egypt as well as among many farming peoples of Europe and Asia and reflected the worship of the moon, which was associated with fertility. Earrings, pendants, metal details of headdresses, and other 
ornaments had the form of lunulae. Lunulae were especially widespread in Rus. in the tenth to 12th centuries."

I was contemplating doing a lunula pendant for myself in sterling, but time was not cooperating. The polymer was out… I was creating ornaments for my local gallery. These pieces – 2 styles – are polymer crescents with a hammered metal frame. The frame curls around, allowing a space to attach chain. I have stitched the small gems on with 26 gauge wire. I love using the tiny gems here – holes so small its hard to string them otherwise, but perfect in this application. 

my lunula pendants

The top pendant in cream and brown features the word “self” in the Celtic Ogham alphabet. This linear font was used for carving, and had many layers of meaning, among them trees and months of the year. I wanted an amulet – trust yourself. Take care of yourself. Center yourself. Have faith in yourself… it all comes back to “self”. The gems are green garnet. The blue lunula below incorporated sterling and aquamarine. This is more lunar to me, evocative of the Moon goddess – the three stars for her three aspects. 

I plan something simple to finish these, maybe just chain, or one wrapped gem each. I may make more, but these each feel personal to me, and I plan to keep them and wear them. 

Thanks for stopping by. I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative challenges of these historical “Back in time” hops. Thanks to Sheri and Lindsay for organizing! Please stop by the other blogs! A full list can be found at: Phantasm Creations

Until next time… 

 

 

 

Curiouser and Curiouser…Inspired by Alice blog hop

It started with a rabbit. And a pocketwatch. There are so many iconic images from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, but to me it all starts with the rabbit. Yes, I think caterpillars, vials of potions, cards, roses, tea parties and top hats, even flamingos and croquet. But I have a thing for rabbits…

(In case you just fell down the rabbit hole – you are currently on a Blog Hop. There was a challenge presented by Staci and Genea to create a piece inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Twas brillig – the idea, that is!)

Alice sketches

This is the rabbit I pictured in my piece – a Japanese carved ivory netsuke ( as noted below) Its a full moon hare – myths of the moon hare abound in cultures across the world, between cultures and over time. But thats another story for another day. This story is a white rabbit… The round shape had me thinking of the gears IN a pocketwatch, and the face of a pocketwatch. Suddenly it was not a rabbit WITH a watch, but a rabbit IN a watch. 

Hare netsuke 

Ivory Manju Netsuke – Rabbit in full moon shape 
Kyoto School, Circa 18th Century

The pocketwatch casing I decided to use – I have a few – was open on both sides. I wanted to be able to fill the space and keep the weight of the piece down. But I had to create a back that would be completely sealed as I planned to pour resin at the end stage. What you see here is a antique glass lens holding enameled gears & vintage gears embedded in resin and layered with paper. The sticker on the lens is original – I left it as it reminded me of the Mad Hatter’s hat size stuck in the brim of his hat. I have fabricated copper wire into a prong setting – as the lens is too small to fit completely. 

Alice back stage 1

The polymer hares after baking, awaiting an acrylic stain to add the patina of time. ( The owls are for a mixed media piece inspired by the Greek Goddess Athena…)

polymer ready to stain

The lens in place – epoxy putty as the bezel. It was a sticky mess, like sculpting with molasses. Once cured it had to be sanded and painted. You can see on the right the prongs supporting the piece from the inside. The paper created a visual barrier seperating the front items and the back items.  

Alice back stage 2 Alice inside stage 2

The rest came together quickly. The hare, gear and watch parts, and an antique enameled watch face from my favorite antique store in Austin TX. ( I live in DE. Long distance!)

Alice front w/o resin

Alice back complete

The entire piece is currently filled with resin. Lets see how it cures over night, and hopefully I can add an update in the morning! I haven’t addressed how to wear this piece yet. That would depend quite a bit on the wearer, I think. Velvet ribbon; choker length? Chunky chain, worn long over the chest? What do you think ? 

Saturday morning: resin for the win!

resin final stage

Thanks to Staci and Genea for hosting the Hop! I had a great time with this piece; I had a chance to play, to think outside the box, to experiement. Please take some time and see what my fellow participants have creatied! Curiouser and Curiouser!

Ginger Bishop
www.lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
 
Staci Louise Originals (hostess!)
www.stacilouise.blogspot.com
 
Genea Beads (hostess!)
www.geneabeads.blogspot.com
 
Jenny Davies-Reazor (Thanks for stopping by!)
www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
 
Heidi Post
www.expostfactojewelry.blogspot.com
 
Donna Bradley
www.strandedbeads.blogspot.com
 
Linda Hanes
www.craftygallindadesigns.blogspot.com
 
Birgitta Lejonklou
www.lejonklou.blogspot.com
 
Libellua Jewelry
www.libellulajewelry.com
 
Lori Anderson
www.prettythings.blogspot.com
 
Linda Florian
www.lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com
 
Dyanne Cantrell
www.deelitefuljewelrycreations.blogspot.com
 
Nicole Valentine Rimmel
www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
 
Jo in Wonderland
www.joyblonde.blogspot.it