The Byzantine Empire era (330 to 1453 AD) was a time of wealth
and prosperity. Constantine the Great, the ruler of the Roman
Empire, transferred the imperial capitol from Rome to the ancient
city of Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople (modern Istanbul).
Greco-Roman jewelry making and metalworking traditions were carried
over to the new capitol.
Turkey has long
since been a nation of many religions, bringing to the table
a wide variety of styles and designs in jewelry. The gold trade
was very much a part of the Byzantine Empire. Gold jewelry encrusted
with gems from Persia and India were available in vast amounts.
A description of a woman of Antioch, who was preparing for a
religious ceremony, was described as "She was decked out
with gold ornaments, pearls and all sorts of precious stones,
resplendent in luxurious and expensive clothes. Around her neck
were necklaces and strings of pendants and pearls."
wealth and prosperity enjoyed by many during the early Byzantine
era is demonstrated by the expensive jewelry produced during
the period. Adornments from the 4th century are seen in paintings,
mosaics, ivories, and manuscripts from Egypt, Constantinople,
Rome, and France. Over time, they have been excavated at sites
throughout the Byzantine world.
Jewelry played a significant role in how people expressed their
status. Byzantine royalty loved having their bodies covered in
jewelry. From headwear to earrings, necklaces, and body jewelry,
these royals would wear as much as possible to show their status.
is inspired by the jewelry designs of this amazing period. Cubic
Right-Angle-Weave (CRAW) done with True 2's and seed beads form
a shaped base for this design. Fine copper patina metal is the
base of the center component. Bezeled and embellished with a
bezeled CZ, this center component is fabulous! The center focal
point leads into Peyote stitched straps embellished with bezeled
CZ's and ending in a sliding bar clasp.
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
Workshop length: This is a one-day workshop exclusively
designed for Beaders Dream Retreat 2020, San Diego.
Dimensions: 2 inches tall by desired length. Sample
is 6.5 inches long. Kits will accommodate an 8-inch wrist.
Cubic Right Angle Weave (CRAW)
Cutting 36 gauge metal and plastic
Even count, flat and tubular peyote stitch
Flat, odd count, step-up/step-down Peyote stitch
Punching holes in the metal shape