Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
Four Points of a Circle: The Compass Rose
©2011 by Cynthia Rutledge

About the Kit

Photo Details

1 White Gold/ Yellow Gold

2 Copper/Green

3 Green Gold/Rose

4 Deep Teal/Bronze Iris

Kit Contents


Kit price - $98

Four Points of a Circle: The Compass Rose ©2011 by Cynthia RutledgeThe Italian invention of the compass, around 1200AD, changed the course of travel upon the seas for all time. Once, the sun and stars were the only pathways to foreign places but with the invention of the compass, intrepid adventurers could travel the globe.

The face of the compass, known as the compass rose, originated from the earlier wind rose, which was an instrument that was invented to mark the direction of wind. Like the wind rose the compass rose was originally divided into four points showing the direction of the four winds (north, south, east and west). Later, 12 other points were made based on the zodiac to fine tune direction and for map reading. The final 16 additions were added to gain more precise bearings, resembling a stylized rose.

The earliest compass roses, named the winds by where the destination would be if you followed that heading. In early times, ships were driven from downwind, with that in mind the early inventors marked the rose with headings like Gregale wind (Greece-a NE heading) and Sirocco wind (Syria-a SE heading) denoting the landing point if you followed certain headings in the Mediterranean Sea.

Even though there isn't a standard for drafting a compass rose there are some components that are consistent. The spearhead or fleur-de-lis crest denotes north and helps when orienting a compass to a map. The east side of the rose has a cross, denoting the direction to paradise. The markings on the compass rose were colored for ease in viewing by candlelight, black for the cardinal points touching the outer ring (north, south, east, west, northeast, southeast, southwest and northwest), ½ points (touching the inner ring) are blue or green, and the ¼ points are usually red.

Four Points of a Circle: The Compass Rose ©2011 by Cynthia Rutledge

Four Points of a Circle: The Compass Rose comprises two Peyote stitched bangles that represent my interpretation of the early compass roses. The first bangle, representing the outer ring of the compass rose, is divided into four equal sections marked with bezel set stones and pearls, adding a distinct elegance to the design. The second bangle is a simplified version of the first and represents the inner ring of the compass rose. Both bangles are supported with an unusual armature lending support and structure.

Skill level: Intermediate to advanced


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