Jewelry has long been a part of our culture, dating back as far as the ancient Egyptians. While things have changed a lot since the days of Cleopatra, a lot remains the same. If we go back in time hundreds of thousands of years, we will find that the first jewelry pieces were simplistic yet original and downright stunning. One of the first things that comes to mind (for me, at least!) when talking about ancient Egyptian jewelry is the beautiful use of precious metals like copper and gold. Ancient Egyptians had a knack for using and combining the materials that were available to them, turning them into one-of-a-kind, mesmerizing pieces. When I think back on what they were able to accomplish with resources from the land around them, it is inspirational to say the least.
The Past Repeats Itself
Sure it’s been hundreds of thousands of years since the Egyptians first started making jewelry, but the past is repeating itself - as it always seems to do. Today many jewelry-makers (including yours truly) build from these ancient traditions; using stamping, carving, and elaborate beadwork to create statement pieces. When I think about the Egyptians and those first pieces of jewelry, my mind often goes to necklaces and bracelets like these. Can’t you see the correlation to much of what is out there today? I know I can! It has been more than 5,000 years since the Egyptians first started making jewelry, but the influences on our modern society are undeniable. From the materials used to the style and design, not much has changed since then, really. Sure, our processes may be different and a bit more refined, but the inspiration remains the same.
When we look back at the history of the ancient Egyptians, it is obvious they valued personal adornment - and we aren’t just talking about the women. Men were also big jewelry-wearers back then, and this self-adornment even carried over into the afterlife. Today there are statues of ancient kings, queens, and gods adorned with lavish jewels, stunning statement necklaces, earrings, collar pieces, anklets, armbands, and bracelets. It was quite common for the dead to be entombed with their own jewelry, along with sentimental pieces that belonged to loved ones. Collar pieces were perhaps the most impressive of all the ancient Egyptian necklaces, and one of my personal favorites. Not only were these pieces intricate and mesmerizing, but they were symbolic and undoubtedly gave the person who was adorned a sense of empowerment. Can you imagine what it was like to feel these semi-precious stones and materials laying on your chest with such weight?
Metals and Materials
As a designer, I am fascinated with the design and resources implemented by ancient Egyptians. Wealthier classes were said to have used primarily gold and some copper for their necklaces, bracelets, and other pieces, whereas lower classes used copper. One interesting fact to keep in mind is that silver was pretty scarce to ancient Egyptians because there were no silver mines in the area. The ancient Egyptians mined copper and gold in the deserts of Nubia, both of which came in varying colors. The more excessive the piece got, the more likely they were to use gems and semi-precious stones like lapis, obsidian, garnet, and carnelian, as well as pearls, and emeralds. These pieces were truly incredible.
But the materials they used weren’t the only thing that made the ancient Egyptians such remarkable jewelry-makers. The fact that they were drawn to engravings and stampings is something I personally find so profound. I take a great deal of inspiration from the ancient Egyptians, as you can see in my own style and design aesthetic. This copper-textured feather pendant, for example, takes inspiration from the Egyptians, both in the metal used and the texture of the piece. It’s so important to me as a designer to pay homage to those that came before me, while giving pieces my own twist at the same time. I am a lover of all ancient Egyptian necklaces and bracelets, in particular, and hope this comes across in pieces like this.
Art Deco and Southwest... What do these styles even have in common, you ask? To many, the answer is not much. To me, everything. Often referred to as Deco, Art Deco is a popular combination of architecture, design, and visual arts that can be traced back to France during the 1920s and 30s. If you’ve ever visited Paris before (jealous!), there’s a good chance the buildings, furniture, fashion, cars, art, and jewelry has caught your eye.
Vintage Art Deco
Maybe you didn’t know exactly what is was that had you going back for more, but it was Art Deco. When it was at the height of its popularity, Art Deco oozed glamour, exuberance, and luxury. What’s not to love, right?! From the geometric patterns and jaw-dropping designs to the beauty, sophistication, and romance it evoked, Art Deco designs have inspired us for nearly a century.
Tapping Into Your Southwest Side
Southwestern style, on the other hand, combines various materials and textures associated with the Native Americans and their culture. Hand-painted tiles combined with leather, sturdy woven fabrics, and a traditional palette of bright yellow, rusty orange, turquoise, and desert-toned hues are all a giveaway for Southwestern design. As with Art Deco designs, Southwestern style packs a whole lot of history into one genre. Many people associate Southwestern design with the Wild West, but I like to think of it more as an iconic representation of multiple cultures and periods of time. Take it for what you will, but I find so many parallels between the two design styles it’s almost overwhelming!
Why These Two?
Today many artists (including me!) take their inspiration from the influential era of Art Deco design, adding in exotic elements of design that play with different colors, shapes, patterns, and materials. Deco was all about making a statement and tapping into a hunger for life and desire to feel good about oneself, which is something we can all get behind. For me, Art Deco represents an opportunity to think outside the box and tie in other fun elements - which may not always go together in the traditional sense. (In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, I am not a traditionalist!)
Southwest Style Jewelry
This is where Southwestern elements come into play. I love nothing more than combining elements of both Deco and the Southwest in jewelry. I am a sucker for a challenge and for digging into my creative side to come up with something that hasn’t been done before or is perhaps unexpected.
How Do They Work Together?
I am extremely inspired by both the Art Deco and Southwestern design, which is often characterized by earth tones, rough textures, brightly-colored woven fabrics, tons of terracotta, and geometric patterns for days. Again, I ask you what’s not to love? When combined with Deco elements, I find the finished product to be like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Both Deco and Southwestern designs rely heavily on geometric patterns, which I have a huge soft spot for.
Different, Yet the Same
Maybe I’m crazy, but I see many similarities in the patterns, textures, and inspiration taken from both Deco and the Southwest. It is my goal to try and tie these different eras together through my designs, relying on lines, use of color, and the repeated patterns that are associated with both of these eras. Incorporating the simple shapes and lines of the Deco era with bold Southwest colors like turquoise, my jewelry speaks to what I find captivating about both styles. Who doesn't love art deco jewelry and southwestern design? Especially when the southwest design patterns have a cross over of art deco designer pieces as well.
As you can see, there are definitely some similarities and crossover between the color palettes used in the two eras.
Southwest Style Jewelry with Art Deco Characteristics
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a designer and lover of all cultures is the opportunity to pull different elements from different eras and tie them together. There is something magical about seeing a finished vintage Art Deco necklace that has clearly been inspired by the deep-seeded culture of the Southwest. My vision changes from piece to piece, but I always strive to create something fresh and that speaks to what I find moving about these different cultures. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s what being a designer is all about. I don’t simply want to repeat history and what’s been done before, but incorporate elements that build off of one another. Check out my eclectic collection of art for the body and home, and let me know what you think about this Art Deco/Southwest style mash-up!
There is something inspiring and soul-warming about bringing touches of bohemian chic home decor style into your home. What I love most about this particular style is that it gives you an opportunity to create your personal sanctuary and oasis, surrounded by natural elements that are soft, vibrant, and put you at ease.
Why Boho Chic?
When many people hear the term ‘boho’ they think all-out hippie; peace signs and patchwork pants included. While the bohemian style of today undoubtedly has roots in the 1960s, when I say boho I am referring to an artistic, airy quality inspired by the earth and its natural elements. Boho chic jewelry, art, and home decor creates a spirited, calming vibe that encourages creativity and relaxation all at once. This is why I love this design aesthetic so much! There are endless opportunities to tap into different areas and bring in various elements, many of which are created by our incredible Mother Earth.
What is Bohemian Style?
Boho jewelry and home furnishings carry a lighthearted feel and aim to connect natural resources (such as semi-precious stones, metals, glass, and fibers) with bold elements, textures, and patterns. These days there is a lot of macrame craft that is considered boho, but there are many other ways to bring the bohemian style into your home. If done right, you can use furniture, pillows, lighting, and other interior accessories to create your own personal bohemian retreat.
All About Boho Inspired Wall Hangings
Wall hangings are one of the hottest home decor trends on the market today, and for good reason. This nouveau art is eclectic, inspiriting, and grounding all at once. Using different materials and taking inspiration from various aspects of nature, my wall hangings aim to add depth, color, texture, and style to any space.
How You Can Bring that Boho Aesthetic into the Home
One of the best parts about decorating your home with the bohemian style as your inspiration is that it allows your to create a space full of life, culture, and interesting items. There are lots of bohemian decorating ideas for living rooms. But, there are no real rules, which allows the decorator to embrace the carefree and unusual. For those who are left uninspired and bored by modern sensibilities, boho might be perfect.
Tap Into Your Creative Side
When it comes to embarking on bohemian interior design ideas, I encourage you to explore, experiment, and reinvent the way things are done. This unconventional style gives you free will to mix colors, patterns, and textures, while incorporating unique elements such as wall hangings that are a mix of metal and nature. This may seem a little chaotic at first, but if you embrace the challenge and throw caution to the wind, you are sure to embark on a life-changing design journey. While there are no rules, but there are a few guidelines that can help you get started with boho chic style:
Boho chic style is all about appreciating the essence of items that make you feel enlivened and grounded all at once. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to think outside the box and bring in elements that may not necessarily go together at first glance, but actually complement one another exquisitely. It’s all about finding that gem - your gem - that speaks to your individuality.
Looking for Boho Inspired Wall Hangings?
jester swink jewelry and wall hangings are inspiring, original, and tie various elements together in order to achieve a whimsical, spirited look. I often talk to people who think they can’t ‘pull off’ the boho look, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Bohemian style isn’t about trying to be something you are not, but is an homage to each person’s individual style and focuses on expression through art. Each of us may have a different idea come to mind when we hear the word bohemian, and I support that! My designs are original and constantly changing, giving me the opportunity to play around with new elements and textures. Check out my unique wall hangings and unexpected lariats to see how I am able to tap into my bohemian. Happy designing, lovelies!