Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ireland, the land of dreams and mist
The Challenge of Travel

Ireland.  dreams, mist, green, history.

these are just some of the images and thoughts that are called to mind when I think of the gorgeous place that is Ireland.  and these are why I chose Ireland when Erin issued this challenge, The Challenge of Travel.  we were to choose one place (one, just one!?!) we wanted to visit and find out what we could about it.  then we were to create something based on what you found out.

for me, it wasn't even a choice.  Ireland.  I've always been drawn to that fabled island.  always have read about it.  learned about it with freewheeling research just because.  even was lucky enough to have visited for a whirlwind four or five day trip.  although admittedly, all I remember are vague images and half-memories.  you know.  I'm sure.  how it is when you visit a place in high school and try to remember it 25 years later?  and yet, those vague images and half-memories still call to me.  and influence me in ways that surprise me.  

and yes.  I named my daughter Erin for a reason...

when I think of Ireland, one of the first things that I think of, being me, are the incredible horses that one will find in Ireland.  Ireland is the home of many amazing breeds of horses. Connemara ponies, Irish Thoroughbreds. Irish Warmbloods and sport horses.  Irish Draughts.  Vanners.  

Connemara pony
image from Wikipedia

and yes, my inspiration for my first piece came directly from this image, found when I was researching different Irish horse breeds.  this first piece I'm sharing for you pays homage to the Irish horse.

a lovely pewter pendant is the focal on this necklace.  I patina'ed the pendant with both Novacan Black and some Gilders Paste in Patina.  The bail attaches the pendant to a necklace featuring beautifully rustic blue sodalite (i think!) and teal seed beads with steel swirls (paying attention to Celtic history, as does the pendant itself) and a black chain.  the closure on this necklace is also of steel.  the colors used are pulled right from the image of the lovely pony and his surroundings - blues, greens and greys.

when I think about Ireland, I'm always reminded of how green the island was on our visit.  greens of many different shades and tones. 

deep greens, hunters, grey-greens, lime greens.  all green, all amazing.  and that's where the inspiration for my next piece came from.  

featuring a small etched and patina'ed brass focal, this bracelet showcases some of the many shades of green you can see throughout Ireland.  Completed with a handmade brass clasp, it's a lovely memory of driving through Ireland.

well, these two pieces were made with this Challenge of Travel in mind, after going through my memories and doing research.  all I had to do this morning was finish up my post.  so I went to bed early, expecting a great night of sleep.  however, late last night, well, really, early this morning, inspiration struck.  causing me to rise from my nice comfy bed and pull out the wire and beads again.  this is what I saw in my dreams last night.

a golden torc.  accented with more lovely green.  swirling celtic swirls.  and snakes.  well, not really snakes, of course.  but the image is there!

and truthfully, brass, not gold.  but that's fitting, considering how many amazing brass torcs and other lovely brass accessories are prominent in Irish history.

the brass in honor of the rich history of Ireland, with the celtic swirls placed immediately front and center.  the lovely green jade showcasing some of the lovely varieties of green that can been seen.

the copper "snakes" twine around the torc.  you know, I'm sure, of the legend of St. Patrick and the snakes of Ireland.  This is my tribute to that story.

and I'll leave you with my version of the traditional Irish triskelion.  yes, I know.  it only has two spirals.  I'm going to add a third spiral....eventually.

and please be sure to visit with Erin and the other bloggers on this lovely voyage that is the Challenge of Color!

NameBlogRegion ChosenInspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart Faso
Niky Sayers
Therese Frankhttp://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.comAfricaKenya
Raychelle Heath
Joan Williamswww.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.comAfricaMauritania
Sherri Stokeyhttp://www.KnotJustMacrame.comAfricaSenegal
Regina Santerrehttp://reginaswritings.blogspot.comAfricaSeychelles
Raida Disbrowhttp://havanabeads.blogspot.comAfricaTanzania
Kristi Wodekhttp://livedinlife.blogspot.comAfricaZimbabwe
Sally Russickhttp://www.thestudiosublime.comAmericasBrazil
Melissa Trudingerhttp://beadrecipes.wordpress.comAmericasMexico
Tracy Stillmanhttp://www.tracystillmandesigns.comAmericasUSA
Sandra Wolberghttp://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.deAsiaIndia
Tanya Goodwinhttp://pixiloo.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Susan Kennedyhttp://suebeads.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Beth Emeryhttp://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Lisa Cone
Tanya Boden
Inge von Rooshttp://ingetraud.wordpress.comAsiaLaos
Erin Prais-Hintzhttp://treasures-found.blogspot.comAsiaNepal
Dee Elgiehttp://cherryobsidia.blogspot.comAsiaPhillipines
Carolyn Lawsonhttp://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.comAsiaSouth Korea
Lisa Stukelhttp://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.comAsiaSri Lanka
Elly Snarehttp://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.comAsiaThailand
Shelley Graham Turnerhttp://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.comEuropeAustria
Mallory Hoffman Herzegovina
Paige Maximhttp://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.comEuropeFrance
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Sharyl McMillian-Nelsonhttp://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.comEuropeGreece
Evelyn Shelby
Holly Westfall
Rebecca Siervaaghttp://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.comEuropeIreland
Toltec Jewelshttp://toltecjewels.blogspot.comEuropeIreland
Lee Koopmanhttp://StregaJewellry.wordpress.comEuropeIreland
Laren Dee Bartonhttp://larendeedesigns.blogspot.comEuropeItaly
Cindy Wilsonhttp://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.comEuropeNorway
Kathleen Lange Klikhttp://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.comEuropePoland
Shaiha Williams
Jennifer Justman
Elsie Deliz-Fonsecahttp://ladelizchica.blogspot.comEuropeSpain
Lola Surwillohttp://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.comEuropeSweden
Kim Horahttp://www.kimmykats.comEuropeSwitzerland
Leanne Loftushttp://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.comEuropeThe Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemenhttp://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.comEuropeThe Netherlands
Marcie Carrollhttp://labellajoya.blogspot.comEuropeTurkey
Marlene Cupohttp://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.comOceaniaFederated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappellehttp://jewelsbyine.blogspot.comOceaniaFiji
Tammie Everly
Alice Petersonhttp://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.comOceaniaKiribati
Elisabeth Auldhttp://www.beadsforbusygals.comOceaniaNauru
Susan McClelland Zealand
D Lynne Bowlandhttp://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.comOceaniaNew Zealand
Denielle Hagermanhttp://somebeadsandotherthings.comOceaniaNew Zeland
Rebecca Andersonhttp://songbeads.blogspot.comOceaniaPapua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi
Kari Asburyhttp://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.comOceaniaSolomon Islands
Cece Cormier
Emma Toddhttp://www.apolymerpenchant.comOceaniaTuvalu
Debbie Pricehttp://greenshoot.blogspot.comOceaniaVanuatu


Linda Y said...

You have captured Ireland with your greens. Love the bracelet. All of the pieces are beautiful.

Cece Cormier said...

Really like the simplicity of your wire necklace. And all the shades of green. Enjoy your travels.

Cilla said...

This hop is awesome! Love the photos! I like the middle bracelet the best!

Hippie Chick Jewelry & Design said...

Beautiful! You captured a wonderful piece of Ireland in each of your creations.

Gale said...

Wow! I should get some of your inspiration! I particularly like your bracelet and the "untamed" edges of your brass focal--just like the celts, I'm really liking working with brass myself.

Jennifer said...

Lovely work - you have hit on the ephemeral impression of Ireland remembered from your travels. And brass is fitting, as gold is too dear... Some thoughts point to the "snakes" Patrick drove from Ireland were the Druids. Druids were often tattooed with interlaced serpents at the wrists. Interesting twist, yes?

Niky Sayers said...

I love Ireland, such a beautiful place and your pieces capture the spirit perfectly, love the bracelet!

Pixiloo said...

Those are stunning. I particularly like the bracelet and the second necklace. I love the curvy sections of wire and the copper snakes are awesome!

Micheladas said...

What beautiful pieces.. I just love your work. Great job.

Kristen said...

Oh my! Having Celt blood I was so drawn in by your post. I have Scottish heritage but still so beautiful!

Shaiha said...

I love all your pieces but the first necklace just blew me away. Great work!

Patti Van said...

Oh the beautiful horses of Ireland! I have never been - but always wanted to go! And today I did, thanks to your beautiful images! Your pieces are fantastic! Your second piece - the bracelet - is drop dead gorgeous - I LOVE IT! You did a wonderful job and I am glad you were awakened to create your third piece - stunning!

TesoriTrovati said...

I hold a fascination for Ireland as well. And although my name is a poetic moniker for this lush pastoral nation that is the only Irish thing about me! I love the pony inspiration. Never would have thought of that! It is a good thing you listened when your Muse was speaking. That last piece is incredible!
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Enjoy the day. Erin

Elisabeth said...

Stunning - the necklace is really an incredible design!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Holly,
I enjoyed traveling through the Irish country side and seeing the beautiful horses and the green hills and valleys. Your three pieces are gorgeous I love all three designs, but the last on is the most intriguing to me.

Anonymous said...

oh, three lovely pieces! I especially like the bracelet of greens and your torc is a lovely inspiration!

LisaS said...

Great comments on Ireland. Love your wirework!

Anonymous said...

Wow! All three of your pieces just "sing" to me. I love that you showed ALL of the Irish greens in your bracelet. Horses are some of my most favorite people, they have such personality and character! Your necklace quite perfectly represented the nobility of the horse in that photo. But I fell in love with the torc. Just beautiful work.

Jewels By Ine said...

The bracelet is my favorite! Love the color combo!

Toltec Jewels for Jewel School Friends said...

I traveled to Ireland as well, and love your last piece and refeence to St. Patrick and the snakes. I even included a boon of a free silver clay tutorial for an "Irish snake necklace" inspired by this legend. So amazing you traveled there, and such exquisite jewelry! The charm and grace of the Irish are completely with you!

Your journey gives me a feeling of going home again, and possibility.

Rita (TJ)

rosebud101 said...

Great job!!

Alice said...

I've never really had the desire to travel to Europe, with one exception, and that is Ireland. I've always wanted to visit this lovely place.

Your pieces are fabulous! I love how you were so inspired by your short trip. And that brass focal is beautiful!

A Polymer Penchant said...

Ah, I want a pony!! What a beautiful horse, and such an unexpected starting point, I just love it. Beautiful creations all

Leanne said...

I love what you created! My heritage is Irish and was lucky enough to spend my honey moon there 19 years ago - the country is near & dear to my heart. Great job!

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Holly, I'm so amazed by the uniqueness of your three pieces, especially the personal reference in the wonderful horse necklace. Ireland is a magical place and has inspired many artists over the centuries. It is obvious that magic is still at work today!

Islandgirl said...

What a lovely story! I actually lived in Southern Ireland for a summer when I was 12... My memeories are of lush green grass and sheep, tired to learn how to play golf but the golf course was a sheep pasture and there was a quarry in the middle of one hole!

Your pieces are lovely... would love to see what the last one looks like on!

Lola said...

Holly, your passion for Ireland shows through in all of your beautiful designs!!! I am however a bit partial to that gorgeous bracelet ... =)

Marlene Cupo said...

You certainly paid great homeage to this beautiful and colorful country. Love the focal in tribute to the Irish horse.

SueBeads said...

Oh my, all your pieces are so gorgeous! I love your interpretations of your trip! Hope you go back!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Wow-the pieces you created really do capture the beauty of Ireland! The lush green landscape and Celtic art are represented beautifully in your design. I really like how you patina-ed some of the components as well.

How wonderful that you had a chance to visit this amazing land, even if it was 25 years ago! Thank you for the inspiring journey!


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