Development of the Belt or Girdle

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The belt or girdle was worn round the waist by men as a means of suspending weapons, by women sometimes merely as an ornament, and generally by both sexes for the practical purpose of confining the clothing. It is commonly formed of a band of leather or textile material.

The part as a rule which receives particular attention is the fastening. This is either in the form of a clasp, or more often a buckle. The clasp consists of two parts, generally symmetrical, one of which can be hooked into the other.

The buckle, another combination of a ring with a pin, is similar to the medieval ring-brooch, but differs from it in that while the pin of the brooch pierces the material twice, that of the buckle pierces it only once. It may be described as a rectangular or curved rim having one or more hinged pins or spikes attached on one side of it or on a bar across its center, and long enough to rest upon the opposite side.

The buckle is made fast to one end of the girdle; whilst the other end, drawn through on the principle of a slip knot, is kept fast by pushing the point of the pin or tongue through a hole made in the material of the girdle.

The girdle is attached by means of sewing a fold of it round the bar or round one side of the rim of the buckle. As a great strain was put upon the doubling of the leather or stuff, this soonest gave way. Consequently a plate of metal was passed round the bar or edge of the buckle, and the two portions of it received the end of the strap between them. The whole was then made fast with rivets. The plate is known Buckle.

This chap is known also,as the mordant. The chief point of the girdle to be decorated was the buckle-plate, which was often in one piece with the buckle, or hinged to it. The mordant or tag was commonly decorated too, while ornaments of metal of similar design, sometimes jeweled, were applied at regular intervals to the strap or band of the girdle. In later years the girdle often took the form of a chain, on which, as in the case of chains for the neck and wrists, artistic effects were produced by a regular sequence of links. Fastened by a clasp, it was worn by women chiefly as an ornament, or to carry small objects for personal use. For the latter purpose it was subsequently supplanted by the chatelaine.

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Development of Bracelets, Armlets, and Finger Rings

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In Southern Europe circular plates have been found fitted with a pin. These plates appear’ to have been developed by the conversion of a primitive disc of spiral concentric wire into a circular plate. From the brooch of this type sprang the circular brooch of the Roman period, often inlaid with enamel, as well as the splendid circular brooches of Anglo-Saxon times, and all other disc-shaped brooches. In all early periods, and even in Roman times, the bow or safety-pin type of brooch was commoner than the disc and also more practical, as it offered room for the gathered folds of the garment. In modern times the disc-shaped brooch fitted with a hinged or sometimes with a spring pin has been principally used.

The two remaining groups of brooches—(3) the Celtic brooch and (4) the ring-brooch—are both developments of the simple pin in combination with a ring—in the former case pen annular and in the latter annular. The Celtic brooch, with pen annular ring and long pin, is apparently the result of fitting a pin to a prehistoric form of fastening for the dress—a pen-annular ring terminating with knobs, known as a mammillary fibula. The ring-brooch with complete ring, and pin of the same length as the diameter of the ring, which was popular in medieval times, is the outcome of fitting a complete ring of wire to a pin to prevent the head of the pin from slipping through the material—which ring in course of time became the more important member. It is improbable that the Celtic brooch originated in the same way, from the union of a long pin with a small ring. Nor is it likely that these two forms of brooches were evolved the one out of the other by the shortening or lengthening of the pins. As a matter of fact the two appear to have arisen independently side by side.

Bracelets and armlets may be considered together^ for though the bracelet is properly only a decoration for the wrist, the term has become descriptive of any ornament worn upon the arm. The bracelet, together with the necklace, were the earliest ornaments used for the decoration of mankind. Amongst savage tribes both were worn in some form or another—the necklace as an ornament pure and simple, but the bracelet serving frequently a practical purpose, sometimes as a shield for the arm in combat, sometimes covered with spikes, and used for offensive purposes. While used universally by women in the form of a ba^id, closed, or open on one side, or else in the shape of a spiral, or fashioned like a chain, the bracelet has been worn from the earliest times in the East by men also, especially by princes as one of the insignia of royalty, and by distinguished persons in general.

Of all jewels the simplest and at the same time perhaps the most interesting and important is the finger ring. It is universally employed as an article of personal ornament, and has been worn by both sexes at almost all times, and in nearly every country. Sometimes it is an object of use as the signet ring, or a token of dignity as the bishop’s ring. Sometimes it has a symbolical significance, as the wedding-ring. Sometimes it is purely ornamental.

Most finger rings may be said to be formed of two parts—the circular portion which surrounds the finger, known as the hoop or shank, and the enlarged or upper portion which is called the bezel. This latter term, applied to the upper side of the ring, which is broadened to receive an ornament of some kind, generally a stone, seems to have originally designated the basil or projecting flange, that retained the stone in its setting. The term collet, also used for the whole top including the stone or seal, is similarly derived from the flange or collet in which the stone is set. From its box-like shape this part of the ring is also called the chat on.

This post is connected to: https://carmilitashandmadejewelry.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/the-development-of-earrings-necklaces-and-the-brooch/

The Development of Earrings, Necklaces and the Brooch

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A few preliminary words may be said respecting the evolution of some of the various ornaments employed on the different parts of the body. The custom of decorating the head with jeweled ornaments was probably suggested by the natural idea of encircling it with flowers in token of joy or triumph. The use of diadems was in early times generally reserved for those of noble birth. From the fillets employed for binding the hair, developed circlets, which with the addition of precious stones assumed the dignity of crowns. The use of earrings as personal ornaments seems to have originated in the East, where they have always been in favor.

Earrings formed an important article of jewelry during the classical ages, but they were not commonly worn again in Europe until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At the present moment fashion does not decree their general use.

The necklace—one of the most primitive of ornaments—is worn either close round the throat, loosely-round the neck, or low down upon the breast. Occasionally, as among savage peoples, it takes the form of a ring ; but as a rule it is formed either of a simple cord, or a chain formed by the appropriate linking together of rings, perforated discs, or pierced balls. Artistic effects are produced by a regular alternation of these details, as well as by the tapering of the chain from the middle towards the ends. Neck-chains with symbolic elements are those worn as orders and as signs of dignity.

The necklace may be further ornamented by a row of pendants, or more generally a single pendent ornament. The pendant thus employed has become, perhaps, the most beautiful of all articles of adornment. It occupies a conspicuous position upon the person, and possibly for this reason has evoked the greatest skill and refinement of the jeweler’s art. Its varieties are manifold—from the primitive charm, and the symbolic ornaments of the Middle Ages, to the elaborate pendant, for the most part purely decorative, dating from Renaissance times.

Next comes the important group of ornaments worn chiefly on the breast, comprising brooches, clasps and pins, employed for fastening the dress. All have their origin in the simple pin. To this class belongs the hair-pin, of which the most handsome and varied examples are to be found in ancient work. Unlike modern hair-pins which are provided with two points, they have a single cylindrical or slightly conical stem, pointed at one end, and terminated at the other with a knob or some other finial.

A simple pin for the dress was uncommon in antiquity, and its general use for this purpose belongs to comparatively recent times. Its place was always taken, especially in early periods, by a brooch—an outcome of the pin—which supplied the want of buttons.

The brooch, an ornament of very considerable importance, can be traced down from the earliest civilization, and is a valuable criterion in questions of ethnic movements. The story, however, of the growth of each of the different classes into which primitive brooches may be divided, the periods at which these ornaments made their appearance, and the deductions of ethnographically interest that may be drawn therefrom, must of necessity lie outside the scope of the present work.

All brooches, as has been said, originated from the simple pin, which itself was preceded by and probably derived from a thorn. At an early period this pin, after having been passed through the garment, was for greater security bent up, and its point caught behind the head. Later, in order that the point might be held more securely in the catch, the pin was given a complete turn, which produced the spring, as seen in the common form of our modern safety-pin. Thus constructed, the brooch, though in one piece, may be said to consist of four parts :

(a) the ecus or pin ;
(b) the d spring or hinge;
(c) the safety-pin, catch or locking apparatus, which forms the sheath of the pin; and
(d) the bow or back—the framework uniting the spring with the catch.

From this primitive safety-pin, which is the foundation form of all brooches with a catch, developed the numerous varieties and patterns of the brooch or fibula of succeeding ages. Among these is the Roman fibula, which instead of being made of one piece of metal, is of two pieces—the bow and the ecus. The pin here works on a hinge—the result of gradually extending the coils of the spring symmetrically on each side of the pin into what is known as the double-twisted or bilateral spring, and placing a bar through the coils thus made.

From the brooch hinged in this manner originated the Roman provincial fibula of the T-shaped type common in France and Britain, and later the cruciform brooch of Ansflo-Saxon times. The brooch with a hinge was exclusively used until the revival of the ” safety-pin” with a spring, patented as a new invention in the nineteenth century.

In addition to the above brooches or fibiilae (group i)—all developments of the safety-pin type—there are three other large groups of brooches: (2) the circular disc type; (3) the pen annular or Celtic brooch ; and (4) the ring-brooch.

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All for The Love of Beads

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Beads are found all over the world. Many different cultures believe in prayer beads. Some people believe the use of beads helps them to recite their prayers. What about “worry beads?” Middle East businessmen have been known to wear a tasseled strand of 33 beads they call “worry beads,” to help them make decisions. As for me, it would take much more than a necklace of 33 beads to help me make decisions. One never knows though until you try. Maybe I should put together a tassel strand of 33 beads the next time I am up against decision making.

During the Middle Ages, Europeans made beads primarily for religious purposes. In some regions there were laws against wearing any kind of jewelry except prayer beads, the rosary. Many other great bead traditions emerged. Beads have been found in much of our excavations. Historians study the finds to learn about ancestors. Some of the things they have learned from the study of beads found are:

trade route facts
technological advances of materials and manufacturing methods
evolving fashions and habits of generations before us

Beads continue to increase in popularity and value. People have become more and more fascinated by the history of beads as well as their significance to different cultures. Beads of all kinds is full of a rich history many people find fascinating as they work with them and create more and more designs. Innovation in bead designs is ongoing daily.

It is interesting to note Turkish eye beads found all over Turkey were and probably still are used to ward off the “evil eye.” Who is the evil eye? I would say it is the devil in my personal culture. As bead artisans learn more about beads and bead jewelry making we also pick up little tidbits along the way regarding how they have been used, and why they have been used or worn. Once we become fired up with enthusiasm about beads, the creative process of making bead jewelry kicks in as well. My first love was for the beads themselves, and not the actual finished jewelry products.

I know it must be exciting to travel the world, visit their local markets and hunt for beads. Africa, Eastern Europe, India, the Middle East, the Far East are all interesting locations for bead hunters, I am sure, as well as unique bead jewelry making traditions. It would take some time to learn differences in what is real and what is fake.

Glass was the most common material used to make beads during the Neolithic era of time in Europe and the Middle East. The Middle East is part of the“exotic lands.” They also had beads of amber, gold and semiprecious stones. I really think a lot of us just by human nature crave that which is novel to us.

Germany is known for their wooden toys. Germany’s wooden beads follow right along after their tradition of making wooden toys.

As for now, I truly am not interested in making beads. I think there is enough to discover already made without creating more. Beads have such a rich and fascinating history it is hard to just skip over to putting them together as jewelry pieces without knowing a little bit about where it all began. For the love of beads, a jewelry artisan most likely emerges.

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Learning to Make Bead Jewelry From Jewelry Making Kits is an Ideal Objective for the Beginning Jewelry Artisan

Aspiring jewelry artists are finding out assembling bead jewelry from jewelry kits is lots of fun and one way to learn how to make hand crafted jewelry. It is one of the easiest ways for a beginning jewelry artisan to produce actual products without a lot of waste in materials. In fact, many kits will include a few extra materials just in case you loose a few as you are assembling. You not only learn with hands on experience how to hand craft jewelry, you also learn what beads and jewelry components are available for your later original designs.


Jewelry kits takes the design steps out of the way and allows a beginning jewelry artisan to quickly see how it is all done. You have step by step instructions and all the pieces to your project in one place. I also recommend picking up a simple bead board or palette. A bead palette allows you to lay out your beads and jewelry components on the board in the order you will be stringing. Just follow the directions in your jewelry kit, lay out the design on your board, then start stringing from the beginning of your bead design on the board. It is rare you will also receive the tools with a kit. The instructions usually tell you exactly what tools you will need to have on hand. It is a fabulous way to wade the shallow waters of bead jewelry making.


Bead jewelry making kits are perfect for the person who wants to make their own jewelry but do not have a clue of how to get started. Sometimes you just want to assemble from the instructions of someone else’s designs and this is the beginning of a creative spark you might fan just a little bit to create a full blown fire, meaning, learn more, do more, and create more all on your own.


With a jewelry kit you have all the pieces sitting in front of you, and if you laid things out on the bead palette you also have it all neat and organized ready to assemble. All that is left is the joy of creating and your final product. How could any aspiring hand made jewelry artist ask for more?


Bead stores online and offline are also learning a great marketing tool. Offer jewelry kits to your customers and keep them coming back to you for more kits and more supplies to create more of what you teach them. It is a great way to build customer trust and repeat customers.


Even jewelry making artist veterans sometimes use the convenience of jewelry kits when they are stumped for designs of their own or just want a quick piece of jewelry fresh to give as a gift.


Jewelry kits are also great to use for whipping up quickly for a new outfit. Keep a few kits on hand or make up your own kits from beads and supplies from your favorite bead store, offer them for sale, or just keep them on hand for new outfits. Match up your outfits to your jewelry kits.
Kits are actually the less expensive option. You only pay for the materials you use. For example, if you buy a bag of beads having 10 beads and you only need to use 2 beads for your earring project, you will have 8 beads left over and for what?


Well, you might think of something one day on down the road, but for now, you actually only needed 2 beads instead of 8. A jewelry kit will supply only the 2 beads you need. The same goes for the jewelry components you will need to complete the earrings. If you buy a bag of 50 bead caps for X amount of money, and you only need 6 bead caps, you will have the remainder of the bag left plus the extra cost of buying the entire bag. If you are going to make several pairs of the same style, it will make sense to buy the bulk bags, but if you are only going to make the one pair, it makes more sense to buy a kit.


I have purchased both ways now in bulk and the jewelry kits. When I purchase in bulk and sell a specific pair of earrings, I always have enough supplies to make several more pairs of the same kind to put back in the place of the ones I just sold. There is an advantage still of buying the kits in that you can go back back to the same bead store and buy exactly what you need in bulk to make more of the same style you made from the kit in the same colors or different colors.


Learning how to make bead jewelry from jewelry kits is a win-win situation for you the jewelry artist any way you look at it.


Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings: https://carmilitaearrings.etsy.com


Meet Sandy


dangle earrings sandy


Sandy is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Simplicity Collection of Dangle Earrings.She dangles about 1 1/2 inch from the hook. She is made from semiprecious nuggets and sunburst glass crystals. The nuggets look like different shapes of little gravel rocks. Some are round in shape, others are a bit off round, a bit off square, just like you would see a pebble rock. Beautiful pair of earrings for the fall time of year.

Materials Used:
2 Antique Copper Dangle Earrings
12 Antique Copper Ball Pins
12 Antique Copper 5 mm 22 Gauge Jump Rings
6 Sunburst AB 6 x 4 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
6 Picture Jasper 7 x 10 mm Semiprecious Nuggets

Sandy’s Price: $15 (includes Free Shipping)
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Prayer Beads for Use of Expressing Deity Devotion and Meditation

Prayer beads are a popular method of expressing deity devotion and meditation. For each of the beads a prayer is recited. Prayer beads are common traditions in many different types of religious beliefs. For example, the rosary is used in Christianity, the jappa is used in Hindu, the subhah is used in Islam, and the mala is used in Buddism.

I am of the Christian faith. The main purpose of the Rosary is to help Christian believers keep in mind the certain principal events or mysteries in our salvation’s history. The Rosary is for thanks and praise to God for these events and mysteries. Even though I practice within a Christian faith, I have never used Rosary beads. I believe they are common to Catholic denominations and other Christian religious beliefs.

The Roman Catholic believers us the “Rosary” having 54 beads and an additional five beads. Other Christian faiths such as the Eastern Orthodox Christians use a knotted “Rosary” having 100 knots. They also use prayer ropes with 50 or 33 knots. Anglo-Catholic believers used the Dominican rosary since the 19th century until the 1980’s when Rev. Lynn Bauman from an Episcopal church in the U.S. started using a Rosary with 33 beads instead.

Each religious belief has their own common traditions in which they practice faithfully. Each belief has their own type of beads, some beads have specific symbols while other beads are carved or painted. The number of beads is also specific to different Christian denominations and how the beads are actually used differ from one sect of Christian believers to another.

It may be true, however, that the Buddist religion was the very first to use beads as a form of meditation and devotion, which  may differ from one region to another region.

The Mala used in Buddism is similar to a haiku, a sonnet or limerick in which a specific set of steps must be followed. The steps may involve the number of beads and in some cases patterns of beads may be part of the rituals followed. There is usually a guru bead tying the whole lot of beads into one and usually a tassel attached as well. The tassel may be a personal preference for some sects of people and not actually required. The guru bead has three holes and represents the guru or spiritual teacher. There are also several categories of malas having different numbers of beads and patterns. All patterns are divisible by 3 or 9 which are holy numbers according to the buddism faith. The math involved here  gets much more complicated. In Hinduism the holy number is 108 meaning many of their devotional practices must be repeated 108 times. The Buddism and Hinduism seem to reflect a system of “numerology” as was practiced by some Indians.

Bead material is significant as well to these traditional belief systems. The beads are sometimes made from wood, bone, carved bone in the shape of a human skull, semi-precious gemstones, sandalwood, red sandalwood, bodhi seed, rosewood and even lotus seeds in the patterns of the sun and moon.

A typical bead pattern might be white with black speckles to represent the stars and will have a small hole drilled in to represent the moon. A tassel may be real silk or imitation. Metal spacers may be worked into the focal beads between the guru and the tassel. Different types of stones are associated with different kinds of feelings such as the boddisattva is associated with “compassion,” and the quartz crystal stone is associated with Quan Yin. Red sandalwood is scented and is said to help the user reach a higher purpose.

Islamic prayer beads are called “misbaha,” or “Tasbih,” and usually have 99 or 33 beads.

Of interest here also is their different beliefs about prayer and how to pray using prayer beads. Some believe if a prayer is recited 100,000 times the person will gain wisdom. Of interest also is how each culture of people change the rules and abide by those changes within their groups.

Prayer beads are used in many different kinds of religious traditions both Christian and non-Christian belief systems.

Written by: Connie Limon

 

 

 

 

 

How to Create Gorgeous Jewelry Pieces

The very first step in creating handmade jewelry pieces is to learn jewelry making techniques. The more techniques you learn the more creative you can become. Gather the proper jewelry making tools as well. Of course, there are many tools yet to start out a few basic ones is all you need. Just add to your collection of tools as you learn new techniques. Do you look in the hardware store for jewelry tools? Of course not. You will find lots of tools yet not the kind needed for a jewelry artisan.

Where do you find jewelry making tools and what are some of the basic tools? Online would be my first choice for searching, and in just about any craft store you will find exactly what you need. The very basics to start out with would be:

  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutter pliers
  • long nose pliers

More often than not you can find these 3 basic tools in kits for less than $20. Another basic tool I recommend for beginners especially is the “One Step Looper” tool. I have seen this advertised on Amazon for $20 and other places for $30. This tool creates consistent loops you will need to make for dangle earrings and other jewelry projects. It is truly a great tool and especially if you intend to make a lot of jewelry at one sitting. It will save you a lot of time.

If you make jewelry that requires adhesive, a favorite one of mine is the E6000 industrial strength (transparent). You can get this glue at any craft store and even in your local Wal-mart store as well as online. It is very easy to find.

If you get into bead jewelry making techniques you will need beads of course and either thread or wire. A mat of some kind is best to use when working with the very small jewelry components. I actually use a piece of fleece material, however, there are specific mats you can purchase for bead work.

You can use a loom for bead weaving projects while you run threads through the beads to form a fabric-like affect. For a project such as this you will want to purchase the same size beads so they will load clean.

A couple of bead weaving techniques are:

  • adding a stopper bead to keep the beads from coming off thread or wire
  • the proper way to close bead tips to keep the clasp safe from breakage
  • a simple technique of making clasps is to use a wire long in length, take your round nose pliers and make a loop at one end, or use the one step looper tool to make the loop at the end. Bend the wire into a “S” shape. Bend the opposite wire into a “S” shape. Be sure the clasp you have fits the end of your piece.
  • Learn the technique of “to crimp” when connecting clasps.
  • An illusion necklace is one of those “fragile pieces,” however, you can master techniques without knots or crimping. When you get to the attaching clasp part of the project tie the end of the wire around a seed bead, glue the knot and use the usual bead tip.
  • A few other techniques to master might be “spiral rope chains,” “chain mail,” “jump rings,” opening and closing jump rings,” “tying knots and bead tips as well as wire wrapping

There are how-to videos on every video site that can show you exactly how-to master all these techniques and more. Once you learn the proper techniques to hand crafted jewelry you will amaze yourself with gorgeous one of a kind jewelry pieces.