Friday, September 16, 2011

Time for a little Creativity!…Part Two

“An artist needn’t be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow men.” ~Vincent van Gogh

Fall is turning into a busy time for Nostalgic Summer. I just joined a wonderful “women in business” networking group, and I will be participating in my first art fair.

So I thought I would take a little time to catch you up on some new pieces I am currently working on, a bit on how they came about and information on the great Art Fair I will be participating in.

After my dad died my mom was cleaning out some of his things, and giving items to everyone. She gave me two small cardboard boxes and said they were dad’s “matchbook collection.” I put them in a closet and forgot about them. That was 17 years ago.

Fast forward to this year. I have been thinking about making vintage graphic pendants, but just couldn’t find the right vintage art. I love all the pendants I’ve seen with vintage type, French themes, and bits of vintage writings but the thing is I’ve seen them done already. I wanted something new. I tried many different options but nothing was working, until I ran across the little boxes I had stored away 17 years ago.

I had never actually looked inside them, but when I did I found a fantastic collection of advertising art from the 1920’s to 1930’s!

This photo shows only a tiny fraction of matchbook covers!

I scanned some of my favorites, worked with the size, and here they are in production,

This is a sample of what a finished piece will look like.

These pieces will be available for the first time at the Second Debut Art Fair on October 1st. This is a wonderful event with 10% of the proceeds going to The Good Will Easter Seals Organization.
Here’s the link:

I am also working on a collection of initial necklaces for the art fair.

And of course I will have a wonderful collection of Nostalgic Summers Re-purposed Vintage pieces.

If you are in the Minneapolis area on October 1st I hope you will come, support local artists and The Goodwill Easter Seals Organization.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Little Jewelry History ~ Part Three: The Roaring 20’s/The Great Depression

“The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.”
~ Salvador Dali

This period in our jewelry history opens with the great prosperity of the 1920’s and ends with the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Two such contrasting times in our history. How does it affect the history of jewelry?

Costume Jewelry came into its own during this period and two distinct styles emerged, as there was a desire to keep things as they were and a longing for something new. Women yearned for emancipation, and role models like actress Sarah Bernhardt had a tremendous influence on jewelry designs. Her style was new and sensual. Copies of Sarah Bernhardt’s jewelry flew off the shelves.

The more conventional motifs included floral baskets and bows. Lighter colors became popular in fine jewelry and costume jewelry followed suit using silver instead of platinum, imitation pearls and rhinestones.

Czechoslovakia produced some of the most distinctive costume jewelry made from crystal stones and beads. Daniel Swarovski made the finest paste stones and they are still produced today.

This period is most strongly identified with Art Deco. Geometric forms were inspired by the Cubism movement, and figural subjects like flower baskets were highly stylized.

Bakelite was a popular synthetic material favored for it’s malleable quality and bright colors. It lent itself well to the Art Deco style.

By the mid 1930’s costume jewelry really came into its own and instead of imitating precious jewels, the styles were bigger and bolder. Art Deco was reworked into a dramatic retro style worn and popularized by actresses like Joan Crawford. These pieces could be worn day to evening, which was perfect for the new breed of working women.

Hats (and costume jewelry) off to our Grandmothers, Mothers, and Aunts for paving the way for fashionable career women today!