The hunt for
and use of gold has been documented through time, beginning with
the Egyptians. Well established trade routes all around the Mediterranean
provided a plentiful source of gold by the time the Greeks had
mastered their skills at making gold jewelry around 300 BC. These
masters of metal styled their designs using Egyptian influences,
mythology and historical perspective. The Roman influence can
be seen when the Greek masters began to use fine gemstones. Topaz,
Amethyst, Aquamarine, Ruby and Garnet stones began to appear
set within the gold. The far-reaching Romans even influenced
the artistic standard of craftsmanship in what was then known
as Roman Britain. The Celtic artisans continued to use a Roman
style of jewelry design all the way up to the 4th century. From
the 4th-14th centuries, styles shifted with the fashion of the
time dictating a more elaborate, richly surface-embellished,
gem-encrusted style of jewelry.
The Key to My Heart Necklace - Locket closed
The history of
the jeweled locket is shrouded in mystery and clouded by the
passing of time. The earliest known examples of these lockets
date to 14th Century England. Known as portrait miniatures, padlocks,
picture boxes and lockets, these small hand-held works of art
began with the work of a Limner (miniaturist) creating tiny works
of art using opaque watercolors on vellum (playing cards) with
fine brushes called pencils. The most famous Limner was Nicholas
Hilliard (1547-1619), appointed to the court of Queen Elizabeth
I in 1570, he used his skills as a gold smith and Limner to create
fabulous gold framed, gem encrusted, miniatures for the Queens
personal use and for her to give as gifts to reward those that
had proved their loyalty to the crown.
The Key To My
Heart is very personal. It has an intimacy about it because you
can pick it up, hold it close and view in secrecy. The images
have fabric in the background, to denote intimacy and familiarity.
Nicholas Hilliard used that technique a lot in his work. The
viewer felt privileged to be invited into such a private place.
The locket opens to reveal two images, Doc Mark & Lady Cynthia
Rutledge, circa 1757. Many lockets would have had a key. Mine
is symbolic, the key is positioned on the necklace over my heart.
The locket: Resin coated photographs within brass frames, Peyote
Stitch with decreasing and surface embellishment, gemstones &
CZs set in fine metal settings and crystals are surrounded
with beadwork. The locket opens and closes with a gem studded
magnetic clasp. (See photo at right of open locket.)
links and a gem set ring connect the locket to the necklace ring.
The ring is Peyote Stitch with increasing and is 3-Dimensional.
necklace straps connect to the necklace ring and closure with
gem set stones and crystals.
The Key: Gemstones & CZs
set in fine metal settings for the base of the key. Peyote Stitch
flat and in the round, with decreasing, and Square Stitch forms
the body of the key. The key is attached to the necklace with
beaded chain links and two gem set rings make the final connection
to the necklace strap and the necklace ring.
The Closure: The necklace closes
with two gem studded toggles and a connector. Gemstones &
CZs set in fine metal settings, Peyote Stitch with increasing
and decreasing, surface embellishment.
Skill level: Advanced
This is a 4-day