Sunday, May 18, 2014

Jewelry Mojo Challenge Week 9: Ancient History

Week 9 in Heather Power's Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge is all about creating a piece of jewelry inspired by ancient designs but using modern materials.  With everything that's been going on in my world the last week I almost didn't make the deadline... but I managed to just squeak something in at the last minute.  You can read all about the Mojo Challenge (and still join in) HERE.

When thinking of the ancient world my mind went right to Roman glass.  I've always been fascinated by the colors.  In modern jewelry you tend to see it all shiny and iridescent... almost opalescent.  For this challenge I wanted something that felt more old and rugged.  One of the resources that Heather recommended was the book The History of Beads from 100,000 B.C. to the Present by Lois Sherr Dubin.  Luckily, a neighboring library system owned this tome and I was able to get ahold of it for some extra inspiration.  I love this picture of some necklaces with Roman and pre-Roman glass beads... this is the stuff!

A picture of a picture in the book so not as dazzling as it is first hand.

I thought that some of the African recycled glass in my stash (some of it left over from the long ago Lima Beads Spring Rain challenge!) would be a good stand in for the more rustic Roman glass beads that I saw in the photo.  Now to figure out what to go with it...

I've long been an admirer of Petra Carpreau's Etsy shop Scorched Earth and knew immediately that I wanted some of her gorgeous droplets for a pair of earrings.  Since she's in the UK, I figured that I might as well grab a few things at once to make the most of my shipping fees!  Check out all my goodies... you'll be seeing more of these in finished jewelry soon I'm sure.

I didn't have great lighting when I took this... they too look much better in person!

This was my answer.  I just love the rustic shapes and rich glaze colors she uses often tipped with bronzy metallics.  Now I just had to decide which pairs of beads to put together and actually find some time to make something.

I ended up making two pairs of similar earrings.  The first set uses Petra's lovely turquoise crackle and supernova glazed droplets paired up with some pale aqua African recycled glass and pewter colored wire.  I'm not going to lie... I'm smitten with these and might have to keep them for myself!

For the second pair I used raku bronzy droplets in turquoise and green crackle glaze.  This time I used some smaller green and brown African recycled glass and brass colored wire to complete the look.

I have the feeling that I'll be putting in another order from Petra in the near future.  I think I'm hooked on her beautiful creations.  Maybe if I have more in my stash I'll be willing to part with some of them!


  1. Both pair of earrings are beautiful! I love Petra's creations as well, and I don't blame you if you keep the first pair for yourself.

  2. So pretty! I love these beads!

  3. These are a perfect combination of ancient inspiration using modern materials. I love these!