Saturday, January 10, 2009
The Making of "Stone Age Amulet "
If you came here from the YOJ blog, you know the story of this amulet.
In thinking about the Stone Age theme, I kept coming back to the idea that the only distinction between a Stone Age community and any other is that Stone Age communities do not yet use alloyed metals, but only those found in a native state. That means that un-alloyed silver, gold, and copper might be in use, but generally only for ornamentation since they are impractically soft for any utilitarian purposes.
So I decided to model the sort of grave goods that I have seen and heard described in some of the recent finds in northern Eurasia. I had some glass beads that had a patina that reminded me of the glass found in archeological sites in the Middle East, and a ceramic donut for the centerpiece. I decided that I could use a bit of copper, provided that it was considered trade goods.
I have been experimenting with the combination focal and clasp for a while now, and that was what I wanted for this. I set the donut using a coiled basketweave technique, 26g copper over 18g copper. My one big cheat was using Soft-flex wire for the stringing, but I didn't have any leather cord, and wanted to make this of found objects, in any case.
The focal measures about 1 1/2 inches across, and the overall length of the necklace is about 22 inches. It has the antique barbarian elegance that I wanted, and still gives credit to a sophisticated culture that simply happens not to be working metal just yet. I hope you like it.
Oddly, Augie, who usually is very restrained and analytical about my jewelry work, LOVES this piece. Go figure.