From top left, first row: Filigree Ga’u box pendant from Nepal; portrait of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Leicester during Elizabethan England; glass bead necklaces from Kenya; photograph of young girl from Singapore with jewelry, c.1910; Afghani hollow pendant necklace; Second row: inlaid filigree silver and brass button; print depicting Fath Ail Shah, the Shah of Persia, 19th c. (photograph by Michael Nicholson); Omamori, a Japanese amulet; woman wearing Kundan jewellry from India; Third row: Tibetan man’s hair ornament, c. 1930; Tekke Turkoman amulet; painting “Madame Bergeret” by Francois Boucher, 1746; Fourth row: Art Nouveau necklace by Emmanuel-Jules-Joseph [Joë] Descomps, c. 1900; necklace from the Mingei Museum collection; haircomb from Indonesia, 19th c.; and a torque necklace from China.
The wearable objects above and the portraits of their wearers are beautiful to me. Several of my past sketch/idea books have pictures and xeroxes from museum exhibitions and books about traditional jewelry, beads and adornment. I enjoy the patterns, shapes, forms, ornamentation, colors, intricacy, layering and elegance, as well as the symbolism and meaning of jewelry from different time periods and cultures. Elements of adornment have influenced my work in various ways over the years. My pots can look “jeweled” or like over-sized jewelry components I think. The shape of a traditional Ga’u amulet lends itself to the idea and drawing of a large covered jar, or the negative shape created by a Victorian necklace becomes the lip of a pot.
I thought I would include some of my favorite contemporary, handmade necklaces too. From left to right: Funky Felt Necklace by Rose Tutu in Montreal; Textil Art Necklace by Maria Cavallero in Argentina; Precious Zip It Necklace by Londi Creations in France; and Wood Resin Cluster Necklace* by Modica Design in Oregon. (*Happily, I received this necklace as a gift from my husband.)