Category Archives: Jewellery

St. Dorothea: A Necklace in Gold and Red

Awhile back my mom had a request: “Make me a red necklace”…having received no further information (casual, dressy, full, sparse, gold, silver, whatever), I took a look at what red beads I had available, and let inspiration take over…

Still drawn to those filigree-type discs I’d purchased awhile back and which I’d used for San Marco, I got to work, and ended up with the following:

Using mostly small floral disks and red glass beads, I created the main necklace….then, using bent and beaded eyepins and one large central disk, I created the pendant component:

Because the gold disks still reminded me of St. Mark’s basilica in Venice, I thought I’d look to its beautiful gold mosaics for this piece’s final touch: its name. While perusing the listing of saints that are depicted in the basilica, I came across St. Dorothea – the patron saint of florists – with red flowers and red detailing on her robes. The fit couldn’t be better.

It got me wondering, though. Who was she? So I decided to look her up in an extremely un-scholarly way to discover the following:

Dorothea lived in the Roman province of Turkey in the early fourth century AD, during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. As it happens, Diocletian was a real nasty bugger when it came to persecuting Christians (he had a whole era named after him: the Diocletian persecution). After executing her parents, Dorothea was tortured, and then offered leniency if she would only renounce Christianity, worship the Roman gods, and take a husband.

She politely declined the offer, stating “Do what you have to do, that I may see the One for whose love I fear neither death nor torments, Jesus Christ….It is He who invites us to the garden of His delights, where at all times the trees are covered with fruits, the lilies are perpetually white, the roses ever in their freshness….”

Since she wouldn’t give in, Dorothea was sentenced to death. On the way to her execution she was mocked, and asked by the lawyer Theophilus to “… send him apples or roses from the garden…” She promised to do just that, and then was promptly beheaded. Afterward, an angel is reputed to have fulfilled her promise – bringing three apples and three roses to the lawyer; an event which shocked him into converting to Christianity, and ultimately led to his being martyred as well. [ source 1 2 ]

…as a result, she is always depicted with roses.

Huh. I kinda just liked that she was wearing red.

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Yea or Nay: Shrinky Dink Pendants?

Awhile back I went on a mad, obsessive, hunt for Shrinky Dinks. Not just any Shrinky Dinks, but ones that could be printed on. I found them at Michael’s (bless their hearts), and started some very expensive experimenting…(Shrinky Dinks don’t come cheap).

The general idea was to use Shrinky Dinks to create custom pendants…either from interesting images I’d found or scanned (from magazines, comics, newspapers, maps, whatever), Photoshop brushes, vector graphics, etc. For example:

…and then, incorporate them into jewellery designs, like this one:

I quite like octopuses…I think with all their tentacles, they’re very visually interesting.

So…what’s the verdict? Is this interesting and fun? Or lame and junky? Would you be willing to buy jewellery with Shrinky Dink components?

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San Marco: A Pretty Gurl Bijoux Prototype

To celebrate the opening of a new store a few months ago, my favourite bead store had a 50% off sale on everything at all of their locations (they seem to be doing quite well for themselves and are now up to six locations in and around Montreal).

I took it as an opportunity to buy supplies I wouldn’t normally purchase, for projects I really wasn’t sure would work out. Among my purchases were a whole pile of flat metallic filigree-type discs which I envisioned connecting together in some way, creating a breast plate, of sorts…truthfully, my vision wasn’t too clear at the time.

Here’s what I came up with:

Not quite a breast plate…it’s not dense enough, but it is still quite a large piece…interspersed with the gold-coloured metal discs are bright blue and metallic crystal tyre beads.

The chains are a hodgepodge of old and new gold and gold-ish chains, put together with a vintage clasp bought from Black Tulip Designs at last year’s bead expo in Montreal:

I’ve christened this piece “San Marco” after St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice which is just filled with gold mosaics, interspersed with beautiful glints of colour…as far as new designs are concerned, I think it’ll be a beautiful addition to my Byzantium collection.

What do you think? Could you see a piece like this, or similar, fitting into your wardrobe?

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