Here it is, June 1st, Reveal day of the History Hop.
The early period of glass bead making, the first 1000 years or so, hold such a fascination for me it was a no brainer to choose Merovingian 500 - 751 AD as my period in time.
|My Lampwork Beads with "Fibula" in the Background|
I did a lot of research online and found lots of photographs and drawings. I also visited the British Museum and saw some Merovingian pieces close up, (as well as some amazing Ice Age art. More about that later I hope.)
Merovingain women would have worn their gowns fastened at each shoulder with a very distinctive fibula type broach. Probably with a string of beads suspended between them.
Being a lampworker making glass beads in the styles I was seeing on the net was not a great problem. I had to mix different colours of glass rods together to get just the right colours for most of these beads. I also used sodium bicarbonate to give the aged look I was after. I wanted them to look as though they had just been exhumed.
|The Seed Bead Fibula|
Next came the fibula. This was my real challenge. The shape and sunburst style was so distinctive I knew I had to find a way to reproduce it. But I am not a metal smith and I knew I could not do it in glass.
My only real option was beadwork. And so I headed off to Lynn Davy and using her pattern for a Celtic boss I was able, after much cursing and tangled threads and a fair bit of help from Lynn, to redesign the pattern, and make this. The central bead is one of my lampwork lentils, made for the job.
I would have made two of these but I ran out of time.
The earrings are a poor approximation of the skilled metal work done by the smiths of the time, but as I said earlier, I am not a smith. Faceted cubes on simple ear hoops. The originals were filigree set with gems.
This squat conical bead is a reproduction of a style found commonly from this time.
They were believed to be worn in this orientation but nothing I read said as pendants. So this is my own interpretation. Threaded on a fine leather thong with a small crazed amber bead.
A big shout out to Leah Curtis for organising this blog hop. My first ever.
Thank you Leah, I have had a lot of fun.Thanks for coming to see my blog. Feel free to visit all the other participants in this hop whose blog links can be found below. I can't wait to see what every one else has done.
Leah Curtis - Indus Valley - beadyeyedbunny.blogspot.co.uk
Laney Mead - Māori - laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk
Becca - Art Nouveau - godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Melissa - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry - beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Tracy Stillman - Native American - tracystillmandesigns.com
Gerda - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry - gerdascraftsblog.blogspot.com
Liz E - Native North American - beadcontagion.blogspot.com
Ahowin - Māori (New Zealand) - blog.ahowinjewelry.com
Jasvanti - Indus Valley - jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
Lizzie - Art Nouveau - theneedtobead.blogspot.co.uk
Julia Hay - Merovingian - pandanimal.blogspot.co.uk
Dini - Celtic - angazabychanges.blogspot.nl
Caroline - Art Nouveau - blueberribeads.co.uk
Charlie - Moche of Peru - clay-space.com/blog
Karin - China - maverickbeads.blogspot.com
Niky Sayers - Rome - silverniknats.blogspot.com
Marcia Dunne - Celctic and Mourning Jewelry - thealternativefoundry.blogspot.co.uk
anafiassa - Mesopotamia - anafiassa.blogspot.com
Kokopelli - Native American - kokopellidesign.blogspot.com
Christa - Native American - adventuresofwonebeadywoman.blogspot.com
Clair - Roman - obstinatepursuit.blogspot.co.uk
Susan Bowie - Native American - susanbowie.wordpress.com
Gloria Allen - English Romanticism - gloriaallendesigns.blogspot.com
Sheila Garrett - Early Russia - 4brownowl.blogspot.co.uk