Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Art of Filigree

For centuries, the art of filigree has been used to craft jewelry such as pins, rings and pendants, reaching the height of its popularity during the Art Deco period of the 1920's and 1930's.  At the time, this method of producing open patterns was more common than molding or casting. 

Filigree is formed using twisted threads of gold and silver to create delicate, lacy, openwork jewelry. Artists hammer malleable metal into thin filaments, then twists and bends them into intricate designs, and solders them at their overlapping junctures.  Vines, leaves, buds, waving hair, and spider webs are common motifs.  

Many ancient cultures, including Greece, Rome, Armenia, India and China used such delicately woven jewelry to celebrate marriage, birth, as well as fancy ornamentation for royalty. Antique filigree can be found in museums around the world.  

I found this 1930's sterling silver locket is from an estate sale.  The face is matte silver with a clear stone in the center. It has an ornate filigree pattern around the edge of the piece.  This 1930's Silver Filigree Locket Necklace is a one-of-a-kind piece available at Vintage Rehab.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Story Inside a Locket

Lockets are fascinating because they tell a story. When you open an old locket for the first time, a mystery is to be discovered.  I love finding ones with the original photographs still in tact.  I imagine who wore it and the meaning of the photos inside.  Most often they are one's parents, husband or children that a woman once wore close to her heart.  I was quite a surprise to find a picture inside this locket of Bing Crosby, a musician that someone greatly admired.  

This 1910's Moon and Star Locket Necklace is available at Vintage Rehab's store.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

History of Cameo Lockets

Throughout history, royalty figures have set the trends for jewelry fashion.  In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, Queen Victoria of England popularized cameo lockets. Queen Elizabeth and Catherine the Great also had a very impressive collection of them.  

Since then, women began collecting cameos to show their cultural status, prestige and wealth. Cameos feature images of mythological gods and goddesses, heroes and rulers, and biblical events. These reliefs predominately showcased women's profiles, and depicted an ethic or moral, or to make a statement about faith and loyalties.  

This beautiful vintage sterling silver cameo locket is from the 1940's. I paired it with an ornate sterling silver chain that accents the relief border around the locket.  You can purchase this 1940's Silver Cameo Locket Necklace  at Vintage Rehab's online store.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rattlesnake Guitar Strap

Last summer, my fiance went fishing with his friends.  They didn't have much luck that day.  Instead of catching fish to cook, he brought back a rattlesnake.  It was over 5 feet long with a beautiful diamond pattern.   

This is a guitar strap that I made with the snake skin.  I laced the edges with dark brown leather to match the criss-cross design.  Best of all, I attached the rattle to the end.  He loves to shake it while he plays his guitar.   

We used the meat to make this rattlesnake cake recipe, which was not very good.  Try it at your own risk.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1800's Fan Necklace

While hunting for vintage lockets, I came across this amazing 1800's fan pin made in Portugal by Topazio. The filagree design is gold plated sterling silver that is adorned with painted enamel flowers and  a dangling fleur-de-lye charm.  

Although I mostly create vintage locket necklaces, I couldn't resist this exceptional piece.  I paired this fashionable pin with a very ornate, new 14k gold filled chain.  You can find this necklace at my etsy store.

Vintage Rehab Bracelets

I have created a new line of Vintage Rehab bracelets.  This rectangular shaped shell button is a rare vintage find.  A dark brown leather strand is threaded through it and wraps around the wrist eleven times, and connects with a strong magnetic clasp. They are available in dark brown, light brown, green and coral leather.  Please check out my etsy store to see my new designs.