I have been researching primitive, tribal jewelry, trying to get that feel in my own work while still using recycled pieces and using some of the bits and pieces I have picked up over the years while out junking around. I have been studying the work of Ramona Solberg and going thru photos from last years vacation to Wyoming and Montana. In Cody at The Buffalo Bill Museum, they were having a special exhibit on Plains Indians. The clothes, the beadwork, all amazing. I couldn't take any photos in there, but I could sketch. And I made notes of color combinations, patterns, anything I could think of that could be used as inspiration when I got back home and was working on something.
When I found this lamp piece a couple of weeks ago in Phoenix I bought it knowing I was going to try to use it in a necklace. From studying things at the museums, I have no doubt that if a Native had found this piece laying on the prairie some where, it would have been used for something. Maybe a handle , maybe to decorate a weapon, but for something. So I tried to keep that in mind as I worked on this piece. I also made this a bit longer than I usually do, thinking more 'breastplate". Suprisingly, although it felt heavy and awkward while working on it, it isn't heavy to wear. But it is big, and is definitely not for everyday wear.
I remember thinking while in the museum that the Native Americans were the original recyclers. They didn't waste anything . Two things that I saw that were my favorite examples of that were.........a warpaint kit that had been made out of a small shaving bag. (I think we can figure out that story) and the other thing that stuck with me was a beautiful deerskin shirt, painted, quill work, beadwork, and what at first glance I thought were small round mirrors.They were actually pieces of tin cans that had been cut into small circles and sewn onto the shirt. It was stunning. I am quessing that a can was just something that was not to be wasted. Boy do we have a lot to learn!
Besides the lamp piece, I used some old steel cut links from my stash, two Tibetan prayer beads, and two carved Himalayan beads. ( at least I was told that's what they were) My sister Terri (an amazing bead artist ) gave me a huge stash of glass beads, silver beads, all kinds of fun stuff when she decided her eyes were done beading. The white beads are from her, made of bone. The closure is once again from Industrial Chic.
OK, what do you think? Go ahead, I can take it.........Tribal? Primitive? Too Bulky? Sick of the Industrial Chic closures? Weird? Can't figure out my reasoning?????................. ( Keep in mind , I COULD take this apart and make a weapon :) The beauty of this is I COULD take this apart and redo, or rethink the whole idea. So I welcome your comments and critique.
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL: My grandson, Matthew........who will go junking with me at the drop of a hat, loves art, loves The beatles, and plays the drums, just turned 8 this past week. Anyone that wants to wish him a Happy Birthday can do so in the comments at The Tin Palace Project.