Sunday, 26 May 2013

inside my jewellery box

Stories of stones & jewels & maybe a ballerina  
by Adi Cloete

Remember the excitement you felt when you got the chance to look inside your mother or granny's jewellery box? Feeling like you found treasure!
And your jewellery box that played music while a ballerina would spin around and around. Magical childhood memories getting lost somewhere between the ballerina and the little objects of intrigue.

Well, it's still exciting to peek into people's jewellery boxes.Especially when the jewellery box belongs to someone with a passionate jewellery heart. 

My quest takes me to visit Karin in District Six on a very windy afternoon. In the lounge we unpack all the little boxes and discover a collection of necklaces, rings and earrings, which she had collected since all her jewellery was stolen in 2007.
Apart from the jewellery that she wore on the day of the break-in, and a few odds and ends they didn't notice, her entire jewellery collection was stolen. 

About 5 years after that she was in a shop in Long Street browsing with a friend, when she looked down and there was a ring of hers in the showcase! 
It was the very first ring that she had commissioned for herself in 1994. An amethyst ring made by Mike Cope. The stone was given to her by an old friend and comes from Rio. She had carried it around in her purse for about 10 years(!) before having a ring made. She immediately told Honest John, the shop owner, that that ring belonged to her. After explaining when and how she had lost it, he returned her ring to her.
The ring that came home :)
Karin's first commissioned ring ever, by Mike Cope

Here are some of the pieces that emerged from Karin's treasure boxes. 

flowers for the ears
left: silver quartet of Sedum bloom earrings bought on etsy made by Karena of Tundra Dear, with silver clay  and Tourmalines. 
middle: Silver protea flower earrings by Liz Dunstan (Paarl)

right: silver and Peridot flower earrings by Jane Eppel (Cape Town)

turquoise bird collection
The turquoise comes from the Royston mine in Nevada and was bought online from davidjamescabs on etsy.  Mike Cope was then commissioned to make the pendant and the small stones were added to the earrings which had been bought years earlier from him.

Kitty jewls! 
The lost-wax pendant was bought on ebay. We discovered that on the back there is an inscription 'ps relax'.
The silver "Cubist Cat" cloisonne earrings designed by Sue Coccia, were also bought on ebay.

a love of birds
This beautiful bracelet expresses Karin's love of birds and was commissioned by her as a special 50th birthday gift. The gold used was a golden chain gifted from her mother.
Liz Dunstan designed & made it and silver, gold and Amethyst was used.

birdies to adorn the hand 
by Firepetals with silver, bronze & a tourmaline.

Silver & opal watch bought from Alon Shina in the Waterfront.

pebbles, petals and moonstone
left: silver bangle bought from the Antique Market for a wonderful R300!

middle: Silver & Moonstone ring bought online.

right: Silver Pebble and Labradorite pendant by Giselle Petty (Cape Town)
Fab Flower
 Made by Liz Morell from East London, with silver and Tourmalinated quartz beads.

     pendants connected to other parts of the world
left: Silver cross pendant from sub-Saharan desert Tuareg tribe, traditionally used as a talisman against the evil eye and considered a powerful good luck charm
middle :Frida Kahlo picture frame pendant from Mexico, a gift sent from a friend in San Diego

right: Tuli Maori tribal symbol pendant made by Liz Dunstan, symbolizing 'The Bird Messenger'

locket ring
Karin bought this Tree of Life locket ring as a gift for her niece in New York...who still has to receive it :)
The ring was made by Giselle Petty with silver and 18ct gold detail.

lovely labradorite 
Bought from Monique Huppertz at Design Indaba in 2007.
This necklace is made with silver, carved ebony and beautiful large labradorite pebbles.

left: Karin bought this gecko brooch in Alice Springs on her first trip to Australia to visit her sisters. It is oxidized silver with yellow gold discs.
middle: another fabulous Mike Cope piece! a Buddha brooch with silver & paua shell inlay. The brooch was actually made for a friend of Karin who then left it in her care while she was traveling, and in the end gifted it to her.
right: a brooch that belonged to Karin's Grandmother, made with silver, onyx and marcasite. 
a favourite combo
These silver pin cushion earrings by Firepetals and silver circle pendant with fabric inlay from Liz Dunstan is often worn together and a firm favourite! And for the record: Karin bought the first pair of pin cushion earrings in this range.

Mike Cope: another favourite
Orb locket with a cabochon moonstone and radiant cut garnet.  
Karin commissioned Meagan Meredith to custom make a chain for this piece after seeing a beautiful chain on Meagan's Frog Prince necklace.
and more Mike...
2 double sided pendants.
Carved silver tree holding a magnificent Labradorite
 & a silver disc pendant with engraved patterns inspired by Aboriginal songlines or dreaming tracks. 
3 gorgeous Mike Cope rings - daisies from Papkuilsfontein on the left with silver and 18ct detail, a silver vine leaf design with oval garnet, and a stunning Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan in an Egyptian inspired design.
a Phoenix pendant and Seraphinite pendant- a heart chakra gemstone - both also by Mike Cope

chrysocolla pendant
Karin bought this beautiful chrysocolla from Lorna  Quinton, one of the most talented gemstone cutters in Cape Town, and then asked Liz Dunstan to make the pendant of which the bail can clip open and closed.
It is worn mostly on a string of carved jet beads.

last but not the least
2 rings that Karin made! Organic silver signet rings with a lotus and a bird etched onto them.

And so: a glimpse of 37 pieces, as part of Karin's jewellery collection.
What stood out to me through discovering all the stories surrounding her jewellery, is her love, joy and excitement about jewellery. It's not just about collecting jewellery. It is also the story of each piece, the stones and the goldsmith that made it,that contributes to  the magic. It is all those layers that Karin values and treasures.    
I think the chances of seeing Karin un-bejewelled would be rare and completely out of character!

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