NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for August 2003
Welcome to Creative Hands!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o August Featured Art: Unique Jewels - Custom Vintage by
o The Ever-Elusive Chantress: The Charm Bracelet by Traci
o August Artisan Shop Sampler
o August Show Sampler
o A Special Thanks
o Share Creative Hands With A Friend
AUGUST FEATURED ART: UNIQUE JEWELS - CUSTOM
VINTAGE BY HEATHER HENDERSHOTT
I began working in stained glass about thirteen years ago. It
wasn't long after that I adapted some of the same techniques to
make jewelry from chipped and broken china. I love the idea that
I'm taking something that would normally be thrown away and
turning it into wearable art.
In my work I use bits and pieces of discarded items to create
something new and unique. The beads are from damaged pieces of
vintage jewelry. I use old watch crystals to encase pictures
from damaged postcards, children's books and old comic books. I
combine these with vintage Bakelite pieces to create fun and
I especially enjoy custom work, taking a piece of family history
and preserving it for future generations. Folks bring in damaged
pieces of Grandmother's china they couldn't bear to throw away.
One woman brought a cup from her mother's china. I made a pin
and two pair of earrings; she gave the earrings to her daughters
and kept the pin for herself. Another woman brought a piece of
crystal bowl that had been used for her baptism. The bowl had
been dropped years ago and she had been saving the pieces. She
was thrilled when I was able to cut one of the pieces to
resemble a shell, the symbol for baptism, and suspend it from a
bar pin made from a Limoges plate.
Another favorite is my "sweetheart" pins and pendants. I came up
with the idea several years ago when I was trying to find a
Mother's Day gift for my mother. Rummaging through a box of
family pictures I found baby pictures of brother, my sister and
myself and decided to make Mom a pin. I made the pin by encasing
each photo in a watch crystal and then suspending them from a
broken china bar pin. Now customers bring me a favorite photo
and I create pins for them. Baby pictures make unique gifts for
mothers and grandmothers, wedding pictures a special gift for
anniversaries and a photo of that "special someone" a thoughtful
gift for Valentine's Day, Christmas or birthday. I also make
charm bracelets using family photos and broken china charms.
My work is always changing. Each piece is unique and one of a
kind. All the patterns are my own creation and I constantly add
new ones. I hope you enjoy my jewelry as much as I enjoy making
We invite you to see Heather's unique jewelry at Kindred
The next time you find yourself idly rearranging the charms on
your bracelet while waiting for the line to move at the market,
be mindful of your thoughts! You are in fact wearing a "charm"
The Charm ~ from the Latin carmen, incantation
And so the story goes from prehistoric times to the middle ages,
to today. Many a culture and several historical periods have
attributed to the history of the charm. Some common charms were
stones, crystals, animals, and other figures. If personal
storage space was at a premium the bearer often resorted to
wearing their charms. Whether carried in a pocket or pouch or
hung from a string or chain, one thing is for sure a Ścharm« or
Śtalisman« could be anything you believed would attract good
luck or ward off evil.
The Bracelet ~ from the Latin brachiale
Many historians thank Queen Victoria and the Victorian era for
trading in the Śgarlic clove around the neck« to a fine strand
of silver hearts & lockets! The early twentieth century surely
had a welcome hand in the beautifying of personal decoration.
Necklaces were strung with beautiful yet functional pieces such
as grooming accessories, eyeglasses and even notepads & writing
instruments. Bracelets with charms were frequently fashioned
from a metal bangle used to dangle lockets, glass fobs and
crests. Adorned to extremes with beautiful designs of flowers
and scrolls, a much more "civilized" talisman, and yet still a
The next notable historical reference to Charm Bracelets would
have to be WWII. In the USA the resurging trend of charm
bracelets can be traced to soldiers who adoringly collected
sweetheart mementos for their loved ones. Hearts, patriotic and
military mementos were very popular. Many bracelets were made
from Silver where Gold was too much of a luxury. American
manufacturers during this era seemed to be able to duplicate
just about everything indicative of life at this time! A great
collection of detailed charms were abundantly available, and
very reasonably priced. Thank goodness no one threw anything
away, as today we are frantically scouring the earth for these
precious bits of history.
In the 60«s, we in America were sporting peace signs strung on
leather while our friends the British, were manufacturing some
of the most fantastic and highly collectible charms today.
Fashioned with mechanical moving pieces, adorned with colored
crystals and embellished with secret openings & surprises
within, the Golden Age of English charms was full in swing!
The 70's gave birth to the smiley face and traditional charms
started to make a come back with the gift givers. The perfect
wedding mementos, a sweet sixteen and the onset of the ever
popular simple gold chain! The 90's blew in and charmania seem
to be in full force again. Designers everywhere began
capitalizing on the themed Charm Bracelet and Vintage charm
collecting took its rightful place in the famed hall of highly
Charm bracelets as we know them today, are enjoying a revival of
popularity, due mostly to the fact they are worn as a fashion
accessory. However, I've yet to come across even one charm
bracelet that doesn't bear a coin or good luck piece! So more
accurately we've come full circle again!
Whether designed from gold or silver, bead or bauble, charm
bracelets are still revered as the ultimate individual
statement. Although styles continue to change the significance
remains the same, the perfect accessory to assert your
independence and good taste!
Continuing as a highly collectible commodity, one can never have
too many charm bracelets, for like the charms of old - to charm
is to beguile, bewitch, captivate and enchant...to be charmed is
all of that artfully displayed on a bracelet to fascinate.
For a wonderful selection of charm bracelets visit Traci's Shop
Pilula Jula Handcrafted Jewelry.
If you want to see some fabulous handcrafted jewelry, visit
these Ruby Lane Shops:
Here's a list of upcoming shows around the U.S. featuring fine
art and handcrafted items:
Aug 25-26, 2003 Cape Cod Fine Art & Craft Show Grass Lots
Between Cinemas & Drive In, Wellfleet, MA
Aug 29-Sept 1, 2003 Sausalito Art Festival Marinship Park,
Aug 29-Sept 1, 2003 Long's Park Art & Craft Festival Long's
Park, Lancaster, PA
Sept 5-7, 2003 Saint Louis Art Fair Central Business District of
Clayton, St Louis, MO
Sept 6-7, 2003 Little Falls Arts & Crafts Fair Downtown, Little
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