Friday, February 3, 2012

Unusual Jewellery - Many Items Have Grown To Be Time-honored Pieces

By Adrian Jones

One Designer Jewellers Chosen Source of Ideas

When Orkney jewellery designer Ola Gorie designed her first brooches depicting Orkney's heritage the items were regarded as unusual jewellery as she was obviously a leader among jewellery designers. Her very first piece of unusual jewellery, the Maeshowe Dragon, included graffiti carved by Viking tomb raiders.

This brooch is widelly seen as iconic and has now been popular for greater than half a century, so is now not unusual jewellery, much more a 'must have' classic now. And a lot more jewellery designers have adopted Ola's lead and flipped to heritage for concepts.

The Maeshowe Dragon was carved by a young Viking on his way home from the Crusades roughly a thousand years ago. It was located inside Maeshowe Neolithic tomb which is 5,000 years old. The dragon rests alongside the finest selection of Norse runic carvings outside Scandinavia.

Orkney has some other instances of graffiti dating from the 18th to the 21st centuries. An archaeologist in Orkney, Antonia Thomas, is already examining rock art included in her PhD investigating 'Inscription as Social Practice: Orkney's Rock-Art and Graffiti'. She's recently been analyzing 19th century graffiti within the Neolithic Unstan tomb near to Stromness in Orkney. Monuments bear symbols with names and dates from visitors, nonetheless these are less likely to inspire unusual jewellery creations from jewellery designers. She's found that 120 years ago there seemed to be a large craze in heritage tourism with visitors venturing rather long distances to see Orkney's remarkable geology and archaeology.

The Unstan Tomb was opened in 1884 when there had been a vast quantity of antiquarian activity around the globe. People sought out fossils and prehistoric artefacts which contributed to the tourism boom for the islands.

Among the many names engraved in the rocks are illustrations from Edinburgh and additionally Keighley in Yorkshire. Sam W Wells left his mark in 1890 and Antonia is hoping to uncover more about this early tourist. She has found a few hints through simple census and trade directory searches. He was a brass and iron foundry entrepreneur in the town of Keighley. She ponders why he journeyed to Orkney - for business, enjoyment or even see close friends?

In these days, naturally, any person defacing ancient monuments with their name will be prosecuted. This would be seen as an act of criminal damage. Four years ago a visitor scrawled a message on a bed in an ancient stone house in Skara Brae, announcing XXX slept here, and the date. Police matched up the name to the owner of a vehicle who was simply visiting and caught up with him just as he boarded the ferry boat returning to the mainland. His marks weren't left on the Neolithic monument for archaeologists of the future to discover - he had been made to remove them in person!

Nevertheless the older markings are crucial indications that tell us about the men and women that traveled to the monuments and also raise stimulating questions about social history, say the archaeologists. And the Viking graffiti plus the dragon graphic are now part of the fascination of seeing the Maeshowe chambered cairn, which had been excavated in 1861.

Unusual Jewellery Originated From Viking Art forms

The particular 30 inscriptions present in Maeshowe cairn, make it one of the major, and most well-known, collections of runes acknowledged in Europe. The Orkneyinga Saga recounts that over 800 years back a group of Viking warriors had wanted shelter from a dreadful snowstorm. While they were waiting inside of the stone chamber for that storm to pass they hand carved graffiti in to the stone walls. A number of these elementary designs appear in finer form in Viking jewellery pieces.

A lot of the writing is boastful. It has individual references to skilful rune carving with many different names and as well to the natural beauty of a woman known as Ingibiorg. Ola Gorie also has designed a jewellery range which bears this Viking lady's name. A different Norse group of fighters later on also left their marks over the walls. But if the Vikings had been searching for treasure, they would have been dissatisfied.

Having said that, the legacies of the inscriptions are treasures in on their own now. Guides for the tomb show off the remarkable runes by torchlight. And jewellery designers Ola Gorie have created two ranges of unusual jewellery stimulated by the Norse warriors' designs and carvings. These old Vikings have definitely left their mark.

About the Author:

No comments: