Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Relic pendant

Did Anne gaze out from here?
In September we had an outing to Hever Castle. Anne Boleyn lived there as a child, and so it was on the wish list of places to visit. The girls in my family are all caught up in the drama of Philippa Gregory's awesome series of books on the royal women who shaped our history so magnificently.
At Hever, although it was made over by William Waldorf Astor in the 1920's, it remains a 13th century castle at heart, complete with winding stone stairs and casement windows. Who could help but be utterly inspired!
A view of the orchard at Hever
My ongoing project has been the symbols and trinkets designs which I've blogged about before, here. It's still got me fascinated, and the inclusion of secret compartments within the designs is becoming a bit of a habit. The Tudors were great lovers of trinkets and beautiful jewels were sewn on to garments as well as being worn as jewellery.
Lovers would exchange bejewelled message pendants and these too would be sewn onto sleeves. Some romeo's were painted with a sleeve full, to give away when someone caught their fancy? or maybe to show off how popular they were!

Relic Pendant in Pewter
Meanwhile, back at home, on my desk were some Czech glass stud beads in the perfect shades of pewter and bronze, just itching to be used. The new bead shapes and designs are coming thick and fast out of Czechoslovakia,
as a new generation of bead makers explore the glass. It is lovely, exciting and inspiring to get the new beads to play with.
The result is the Relic Pendant. A little container for a message or treasure to be concealed within. Worked in Albion Stitch and clearly way more influenced by my visit to Hever than I realised whilst I was beading.
I've written up the pattern, which is also available as a download, and put together kits in the first two colourways inspired by the beautiful patina of time aged metals.

Relic Pendants in Bronze and Pewter