Monday, 7 March 2011

Matte Black is Back

Many moons ago I worked at the V&A. Much of my job involved exploring the collections; a tremendous privilege and the memories are still a powerful source of inspiration for me.

Cast iron earrings c1815 photo ©V&A
I'm telling you this because one of my on/off obsessions is back 'on'. Matte black seed beads and netting stitch. Why? Because back in the day I fell in love with the strange and wonderful Berlin ironwork jewellery. It's heyday was during the Franco-Prussian War (1813-15) when Prussian women were asked to donate their gold to the state in exchange for this unbelievably delicate cast iron jewellery; inherently worthless, yet mesmerically beautiful.

So once again I am all set to drag myself away from Peyote Stitch, dig out my copy of the "White Russian" Beading book and see what I can come up with...

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Unlikely beauty

I was in Andulacia for a few days recently and had cause to visit the workshop of the local metalsmith. This was what I saw. I know he thought me slightly bonkers for wanting to photograph it, but he obligingly opened up the doors so there was enough light for my camera phone