Thursday, September 16, 2010

in the dark

 "Rhinestones and Rosaries"
 I was not familiar with Jet, until I bought a multi-strand necklace which contained much of it.  I really liked the necklace for the chain it contained...lots of vintage, gold-toned chain that went well with brass.
But then I found out it was the Jet bar shaped beads where the real deal was made.  
And, the clasp....ah! I loved the clasp.
I have used the chain for just about everything the last couple of months, and now it is almost gone.  Yikes!  I have been frantically looking for more online, but none to be found.  That's the way it works sometimes.  Actually a lot of times.
Maybe I'll find some at the festival.... =)
But it was just about a week ago, I also started digging into the rosaries I have been hoarding (for myself and my future classes), and found a faceted Jet rosary with the most wonderful brass cross.  Now, I remember....THE cross was the reason I bought the rosary, as I usually don't use much black in my designs. 
Isn't it stunning?  Love the detail.
So, I decided the two must go together for my next Rhinestones and Rosaries necklace.
I hadn't made one since the Art Walk last May.
Once completed, I remembered why I was so excited when I finished the very first one, and why I sent it in as a class proposal for Adorn Me! 2011.  I loved mixing the two original pieces of jewelry~one necklace/one rosary~
is now ONE.
This process is always like a puzzle to me, which totally blows me away,
and is exactly why I love doing what I am doing.   
This one will be coming with me to Marburger,
along with a simple pair of earrings.  
Understated and elegant.  I like that.
I think that best describes (what I strive for) in my style of jewelry.
"Jet Dangles"
Faceted Jet rosary beads, some of my (very limited stash) vintage chain, vintage rhinestone buttons and dainty rhinestone dangles,
which I don't have many left of either!
And here is what I found about about Jet, just in case you too were "in the dark".
Jet, which is actually fossilized coal, as a gem material was highly popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, during which the Queen wore Whitby Jet as part of her mourning dress. Jet was popular for mourning jewelry in the 19th century because of its somber color and modest appearance, and it has been traditionally fashioned into rosaries for monks. In the United States, long necklaces of Jet beads were very popular during the 1920s, or Roaring Twenties, when women and young flappers would wear multiple strands of jet beads stretching from the neckline to the waistline. In these necklaces, the Jet was strung using heavy cotton thread; small knots were made on either side of each bead to keep the beads spaced evenly, much in the same way that fine pearl necklaces are made. Jet has also been known as black amber, as it may induce an electric charge like that of amber when rubbed.
I also found out, when burnt with a red-hot needle, Jet smells like coal. Black glass and plastics are often used to imitate Jet (glass is much heavier and harder than Jet) - Jet is warm to the touch.
Well, I haven't given it the burn test.  Maybe tomorrow.  


Stacie said...

That is so interesting about Jet. I just finished watching Victoria and Albert this week...I too, love Jet....but I don't think I understood why until I read your post. Isn't it cool where passion can lead you? Beautiful earrings...

Esther said...

Dianne!! it's BEAUTIFUL!! black and brass is a very "chic" and vintage combo!! The clasp looks fabulous too!! so glad to ear from you and your little bees hands.. !

Riki Schumacher said...

Hi Diane, very cool about the history of jet, loved reading that! Your piece is beautiful. Wish I could be at the show! How much fun would that be? I know you'll do great!! Big hug, Riki

VS said...

Oh my word girl...this is stunning!!! I love jet & actually have a vintage victorian mourning pin in the shop, along with a few vintage buttons. Loving alllll of your jewelry & can't wait to see which one I choose to come home withfom the very own & personal Diane Cook Design. I leave in 2 days...yippppeeeee!!!

Sharon said...

Such a lovely combination, your work never ceases to amaze me! Understated elegance is what comes to mind when I gaze at your beauties!

Caterina Giglio said...

it IS stunning! great work! just got here, Riki sent me from her blog! I really like your beautiful work!

stregata said...

That necklace is absolutely fabulous! You have such a gift working with rhinestones. Love it!!!

Cindy said...

Diane, this new necklace is stunning... I love the rich details. And no, I wasn't familiar with the history of Jet either. I have certainly seen it, but really never did any research. I appreciate the information you shared here. Good luck in this finally week or so getting ready for your show! :-)

Suz said...

Oh, my gosh, Diane,
That is a truly beautiful necklace. It is stunning without being gaudy or over the top. You really have it down, gir!

Thank you, also, for the education re Jet. I am embarrassed to say that I had it all wrong! Now I know.


kansasrose said...

LOVE this Diane! It's so timely you did a post about Jet! I was just given a beautiful pair of 1920's Jet earrings that belonged to my grandmother from my mom. I knew they were special, now I know why because of what you wrote. They indeed impart an elegance and warmth when worn that is hard to describe. Your work is amazing, and so beautiful.

Jen Crossley said...

Very Interesting about the history of Jet,it really is a beautiful piece Diane you work is beautiful

mairedodd said...

the marberger show sounds great! what a nice 'fit' you have found with it... the pieces are terrific... i love jet too...
i love the line 'the process is always like a puzzle' - i feel that too (maybe we all do) - the feeling was summed up so wonderfully in those words...

Unknown said...

not that I could ever bear to try this, but jet will leaves a brownish mark when rubbed across cement according to my vintsge jewelry books.

Diana said...

Your piece is stunning Diane. I love jet and now can appreciate it even more knowing it's composition and history. Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck at Round Top. I know you will be well received.