Community

Challenge Yourself

Last year I (and several others in the studio) took part in a national jewelry making challenge, the 2018 Earring Challenge. The goal was to make 52 pair, one pair each week, and to post a new pair every Monday on social media. It could have been very simple but I added a few more parameters. For me personally the challenge was to make a unique pair of interesting, light weight earrings from materials I already owned. It was a perfect challenge for me; it got me into the studio regularly, forced me to be decisive and to finish projects. Every pair I made is below.

This year Danaca Design wants to challenge you! Our challenge (should you choose to accept it) is titled Charmed 2019. The goal is to create a minimum of one unique charm per month to be added to a bracelet (or necklace), to be presented in a show in the gallery at Danaca Design in 2020!

The Rules are basic. You must fabricate your charms (no prefabricated, purchased charms). You may use any materials or process. Each bracelet must have a theme, conceptual or technical, with each charm somehow relating to the others. If you would like to participate simply start. Please post your images to social media using the hashtags #charmed2019 #charmbraceletchallenge #charmbracelet2019 and tag Danaca Design so we know when you post.

We’ve started a Facebook group for images and discussions: charmbracletechallenge2019.

Check out Wikipedia for some inspiration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charm_bracelet

Looking forward to seeing what we all come up with!

Community

Traveling Tiara Show

Crowning Glory Tiara Collage
Crowning Glory Tiara Collage

Happy New Year!

Back in February 2018, oh my, so long ago…Danaca Design hosted a fabulous show in the gallery, Crowning Glory: Ruling our Destinies, Directing our own Paths. This exhibition of crowns and tiaras was bold, creative and downright fun! I’m sorry if you missed it but you might be in luck – our tiara show is traveling to Greenville, North Carolina!

Chief, Queen, Tsar, Kaiser, Monarch, Caliph. The words conjure images of power and pageantry, impressive jewels, and imposing headdresses, crowns, and tiaras. Throughout history ruling over others usually meant belonging to the “right” family and class—and displaying the associated bling that demonstrated with sparkling intensity their wealth, power, and good taste.

Crowning Glory will be on exhibit through January 24 at Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge in the Don Edward Gallery. This non-profit arts organization is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Pitt County by promoting artists and arts organizations, educating through the arts, and making the arts accessible to the entire community.

This wonderful opportunity came to us as part of an inspiring symposium hosted annually at East Carolina University, the ECU Material Topics Symposium. I’ve never attended this event but have heard it’s a good one, something to add to your calendar. This year’s theme is “State of Adornment: Subject to Change,” and it’s this weekend! Find the detailed symposium schedule here: https://materialtopics.com/2019schedule/

There is a reception ECU Material Topics Symposium reception for our show Friday evening, January 18, 6pm -8pm.

Learn more at http://www.pittcountyarts.org/gallery/current-shows

Community, Gallery Event

Crowning Glory Series: Ancient History from Diadem to Tiara and Crown

This coming March Danaca Design will be hosting a show featuring tiaras and crowns in many forms called Crowning Glory: Ruling Our Own Destinies, Directing Our Own Paths. While the artists will be exploring the diverse cultural, artistic, historic, and social narratives of these accessories April decided to look into the history of these royal accessories to use as a post on the Danaca Design blog. It turned out to be a fascinating subject so instead of making one post she turned it into a four part series being posted every Monday in February leading up to our show opening and reception on Friday, March 2, 6-8:30pm. This week part 1 is focused on the ancient history of tiaras and crowns.

Tiaras, crowns, these head ornaments have been used for centuries to symbolize social superiority and power, have a history going back to ancient Egypt and Greece. Originally these head pieces were called a “diadem” derived from the Ancient Greek “dia dein” meaning “to bind around”. The ancient Egyptian pharaohs would wear gold head-bands that could be decorated with tassels and other ornaments that hung over the forehead, temple, or even down to the shoulders.

An excellent example of this is the diadem discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun, King of Egypt in ca. 1339-1329 b.c.e. (pictured above) Discovered during the excavation of his tomb in 1922 the kings mummy was adorned with a gold diadem formed in a circlet, at the front a detachable gold ornament with the head of a vulture and the body of a cobra, symbolizing the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt. It is also inlaid with glass, obsidian, carnelian, malachite, chalcedony, and lapis lazuli.

In Ancient Greece diadems were made from all kinds of metal, and with a limited amount of gold available, Greek metalsmiths would decorate them with embossed rosettes, filigree, and other motifs such as the Heracles knot which was found frequently in Hellenistic jewelry. Once Alexander the Great opened up the gold supply from the Persian Empire in 331 B.C.E. the styles became even more elaborate and often contained intricate garlands of tassles, leaves, and flowers.

The shift from diadems as just a circular band to what we now consider tiaras and crowns today is attributed to Ancient Persia, now Iran. The original term “tiara” is Persian in origin and in its original form describes the high peaked head decoration worn by Persian kings. However in ancient Persia crowns were worn in many forms and ancient authors did not always distinguish clearly among the various terms for them, making the most reliable evidence for forms of Persian crowns/tiaras are the depictions on objects such as monuments and coins.

Kings from the Achaemenid period wore tall and serrated golden crowns, called a crenelated crown, which was adorned with gold leaves and colorful jewels. The 22 or 24 serrations of the crown symbolized towers, battlements, temples, or the Sun. The Achaemenid queen wore a jeweled crown with a thin piece of cloth reaching her knees attached. Based on historical documents it seems that the only difference between the King and Queen’s head wear was the thin cloth.

However it was not just the royal Persians that wore head covers to denote status in society. From writings by the ancient Greeks it appears that a tiara was a soft headdress often with a high point and members of the Median upper class wore these high, crested tiaras. Median civilians and officers covered their heads with round and soft egg-shaped felt caps which were decorated with lace. Ancient reliefs depict archers with these caps and a crenelated diadem worn over them. Upper class Achaemenid women wore long headscarves some reaching down to their ankles. This shawl-like headdress was not wrapped under the neck but was usually worn with a diadem on top very similar to many popular bridal veil styles worn today.

Well that wraps up part 1 of this 4 part series. Honestly it is really hard to figure out when to stop because their is just so much fascinating history but if you want to check out more really cool pictures of ancient diadem, crowns, and more I suggest going to The Metropolitan Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org where you can browse their entire collection online.

Check back next Monday to find out about the crowns and tiaras of south and east Asia…I can’t wait.