Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
Steppin' Stones Kit
©2009 by Cynthia Rutledge

About the Kit
Available Colorways
Kit Price - $150 
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Steppin' Stones Kit ©2009 by Cynthia RutledgeThe earliest formal English gardens, that we know of today, were planted by the Roman conquerors of Britain in the 1st Century AD at Fishbourne Palace in Sussex, England. Fishbourne Palace was comprised of four spectacular wings with colonnaded fronts, forming a square around a formal garden. Built in 75-80 AD, this private residence was at one time, about the same size as Buckingham Palace. Visitors to the Palace would have entered through the gardens, therefore witnessing the great wealth of its Roman owner, King Cogidubnus.

The neat and orderly, geometric and symmetrically planned formal gardens boasted hedges and pathways, surrounding expansive lawns, vegetable and flower gardens, exotic ornamental and fruit tree displays, ponds, fountains and statues. Following the style of the times, it was a common practice to use hedges and gravel or stone-stepped pathways to punctuate small niches, which would contain statues, urns or garden seats. This style of garden encouraged residents and guests to walk the gardens and enjoy the out of doors.

Today, Fishbourne Palace is continually surprising us with new details of life at that time. Not only famous for the reconstructed gardens, the palace had mosaic floors in over 100 rooms, the largest collection of in-situ mosaic floors in Britain, and about 25% of those survive in some degree today. Three fragments were discovered outside the palace boundaries leaving a suggestion that there may have been part of a pathway outside as well.

Steppin' Stones necklace is reminiscent of a formal garden by beginning with the trillion-shaped pendant as the central commanding focal point, as would a pond, fountain or statue in the garden. The eye is then lead up the necklace by the gem-embellished links that act as the stepping-stones, leading the way to the closure. Three-dimensional Peyote Stitch is used to create a bezel, and a raised triangular shape, upon which the bezeled stone rests at center front. Suspended from the focal point is another set stone that acts as a visual balance to the pendant. Pathways of Peyote-stitched, gem-embellished links comprise the rest of the necklace and lead to two gem-studded toggles that become part of the closure. The links are embellished with Sterling or Gold-filled set gemstones and/or CZ's.

Skill level: Advanced. The student must be proficient at peyote stitch.


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