Tuesday, 29 May 2012

More from the treasure quest

New Albion Stitch 'Ancient Treasure'
I've made a promise to try and post more about the beading... much of what I do 'right now' is for next year, sometimes even further ahead, but these new pieces are ones I don't have to 'sit on', as they are my own experiments. Probably for workshops, they show just one of the several new developments in Albion Stitch which I'm currently working on. They are also part of my on going project about Treasures and Talismans.

I'm fascinated by the way in which we have objects of adornment which have different meanings. Collectively we wear objects like wedding bands, or religious symbols made in metals, these seem to be almost universal ways of publicly talking about our status or belief. Then there are more subtle symbols, insignia, badges, which show an affiliation to an organisation or a collective idea. next are the commercially generated tribal symbols of  logo's, band names, brand names and branded objects like watches, footwear and so on.

New Albion Stitch 'Pathfinder Talisman'
Next, an maybe more fascinating are the objects that have deep significance to just the individual, or the individual and a very few, often family members. maybe a coming of age locket, earrings, graduation gifts, or a unique piece of jewellery passed from generation to generation. Stop and ask anyone about their treasure and they will probably tell you a great story.
There are also objects which we give meaning to in other ways, prayer boxes, charms to ward off evil, attract luck, or jewellery engraved with secret messages.
From the first stone with a hole through it, threaded onto the first piece of braided elephant grass, we have taken simple objects and given them a new significance. Even now, finding a stone with a hole through it is considered by some to be magical luck, to blow a wish through the hole a guarantee of happiness.
My curiosity is piqued by our collective need for some kind of touch stone, how and why these come about and what, as a designer of jewellery I can usefully add to this story.
It is a rich and esoteric theme to plunder and a source of fascination. These two pieces are part of what I'm telling myself has a loose working title of 'Talismans for a Time Traveller', partly because I can dip in and out of all sorts of cultural references, going back in time, partly because I'm not sure yet where this little adventure is going.

D'you like the little cake tin I used as a prop? It is really dinky and quite old. For baking Madeleine sized cakes when it was shiny and new.