Lyme Regis Harbour


After that last blast of negativity in the previous post, I am back to my more usual, balanced, self!

Over the summer, Dingo and I spent a long time in the West Country, visiting Devon and Dorset and spending one exceptionally wet day in Lyme Regis which was not really a joy for anyone...

Unsurprisingly, we looked for alternatives to the seaside and found a rather remarkable second-hand bookshop where I picked up a copy of Victoria Finlay's "Jewels - A Secret History"


I thought it looked vaguely interesting even though the bold type on the back declaring "find out the thrilling stories behind your favourite jewels" did put me off a little. It is actually brilliant and I recommend it to anyone interested in not just gems and gemmology but in good storytelling. Not only does she go jet-hunting with Kevin Dixon - my own jet-cutter in Whitby - but she travelled the world meeting similarly delightful and eccentric people who are all involved in the business of gemstones in some way and she has a real knack for conveying something of the spirit and voice of these people through her writing. I have absolutely no idea why I have not heard of this book before and although it appears to be out-of-print, there are plenty of second-hand copies available online.



Something else which had hitherto slipped my attention was "Essex Crystal" cabochons. I first saw these months and months ago in the window of an antique-print shop in Brighton, but forgot about them until last week, when I went back on the off-chance that they were still there and found that they were. I normally don't much care for animal-motifs and the last objects I found with animals featured were the 1920s French bakelite buttons:

Vintage Bakelite Buttons 3


which I made into various items of jewellery. The "Essex Crystal" cabochons are from the same era but are rather different, being reverse-intaglio rock crystal which has been painted:

"Essex Crystal" Dog Cabochons - 1


They don't actually come from Essex, nor were they made by William Essex (the famous English engraver) but they take their name from him as people believed that he had invented the technique for making them. The rock-crystal is very deeply engraved:

"Essex Crystal" Dog Cabochons - 5


And then painted. The backs were often covered in gold leaf to give brilliance to the painted design and traces of this can be seen here:

"Essex Crystal" Dog Cabochons - 7


What I really like about these is the comic-book quality of the dogs, one setter, one terrier and one spaniel:

"Essex Crystal" Dog Cabochons - 4

"Essex Crystal" Dog Cabochons - 3

"Essex Crystal" Dog Cabochons - 2


They are almost "outsiderish" in the way in which they have been rendered.
Absolutely no idea what I am going to do with these!



You may recall that during July, I went mudlarking on the Thames in London and brought back a host of finds, including about 120 pieces of ancient porcelain pipe-stems. I have now cleaned these up - with loads of anti-bacterial soap! - and sorted them.

Ko si Iruufin - WIP - 2


Ready to be made into a collar.

These objects have a strange past and are fundamentally the historical equivalent of the "dog-ends" which litter the streets today. Porcelain clay pipes were sold ready-filled with a plug of tobacco: this would be smoked and then the pipe discarded. Porcelain is tougher than people give it credit for and while the bowls were mostly destroyed, the stems remained intact and have been smoothed over time by the action of the river.

Off to buy gemstones to set in the pipes!
More later.

Views: 18

Tags: book, cabochon, canine, clay, collar, crafthaus, dog, essex crystal, found object, jewellery, More…jewelry, justified sinner, lyme regis, mudlark, pipe, porcelain, secret history, setter, spaniel, stem, terrier, thames, tobacco, victoria finlay, william essex

Comment

You need to be a member of crafthaus to add comments!

Join crafthaus

SNAG / CH Scholarship 2015

Created by

Kelly M Nye

Makers, Metalsmiths, and other Monikers.

What do you call yourself? Where do you belong in the Polarized Convocation of Jewelers?

This blog is a research-based discussion of personal inclusions in the Jewelry/Metals field and the titles and boundaries that define us as artists.

How do you define yourself and your practice?

JOIN the discussions.

Latest Activity

Katja Toporski joined Kelly M Nye's group
Thumbnail

inclusions

Makers, Metalsmiths, and other Monikers.What do you call yourself? Where do you belong in the Polarized Convocation of Jewelers?This blog is a research-based discussion of personal inclusions in the Jewelry/Metals field and the titles and boundaries that define us as artists.See More
57 minutes ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"What is…"
4 hours ago
The Justified Sinner posted a blog post

Towards a suit...

Just spent the weekend in Brighton, a much needed break after the week of marking last week, marking the final submissions of our degree students. The above cake was a present from the lovely Rachel O'Neill to thank us for helping her over the years. Now I'm waiting for the external examiner to…See More
8 hours ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Bishopsland Educational Trust  Up Coming Events: Bishopsland at Jacobs Jewellers2nd to 22nd June 2015Jacobs Jewellers, 25 King Street, Reading, RG1 2HE Henley Festival8th to 12th July 2015Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 1AH Art…"
Friday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Build Your Own: Tools for…"
Friday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Hothouse from the Crafts Councilhttp://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a47fc1f38d7b79f55813e2e48&id=d1c97c23cd&e=247ffc61e9The Crafts Council runs a national programme of creative business support for craft makers within three years of setting…"
Friday
Rene Lee Henry posted photos
Thursday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"OPEN CALL DESIGNERS IN RESIDENCE KORTRIJK 2015Deadline Deadline: 02 juni 2015Designregio Kortrijk invites recent design graduates from the various creative disciplines to apply for its Designers in Residence Kortrijk programme 2015. During a working…"
Thursday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Hothouse from the Crafts Council The Crafts Council runs a national programme of creative business support for craft makers within three years of setting up their practice.Hothouse has successfully supported 163 makers over the last five years with…"
Wednesday
Jennifer Merchant liked Kelly M Nye's discussion How Do You SAY?
May 20
Melissa Cameron posted a blog post

#SnagBoston

Image courtesy PlatformaGoing to be in Boston for the SNAG conference this week? Come say hi! Not going to be there? Follow along with the shenanigans on Instagram or Twitter by following @thejewellist (t) or @thejewellist (i).Don't know/care what I'm talking about with…See More
May 18
Kelly M Nye added a discussion to the group inclusions
Thumbnail

How Do You SAY?

Schmuck and other European termsschmuck[shmuhk]noun,(English slang) an obnoxious or contemptible person(Yiddish derivative of schmock): penis(German): jewel, adornment“You cannot force linguistic usage: the acceptance of a word depends on many factors.”- Liesbeth den BestenI have always been fascinated with etymology and I thought it is a perfect time to dive into alternate terminology. With Dutch artist, Ruudt Peters delivering the keynote speech on Wednesday at SNAG Boston, I am excited to…See More
May 18

© 2015   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service