I dream of one day going to Kashgar, hopefully with my family. I made this ring inspired by photos I have seen of the old town in Kashgar; beautiful, unique, colourful, threatened by demolition, but very much alive.
How did I make it? I made the ring from fine silver metal clay (PMC3), using a stenciling technique according to Kelly Russell’s instructions in the book PMC Technic (edited by Tim McCreight). I gave it a vibrant Liver of Sulphur-patina and set a large iridescent freshwater pearl in the centre.
By Jenny Ekberg
There is something about horse shoes. How can something so rustic feel so magical?
As a child in Sweden, I would watch in awe my practical, earthy grandparents turn silent and supersticial when stumbling over a rusty horse shoe digging in their garden. Inspired by old Central Asian Turkoman silver necklaces, and by jewellery artist Pamela Love (see my post about Pamela here), I suddenly got an urge to make my own spiked horse shoes. These are my first attempts; one in fine silver, one in bronze. Already, they are amongst my most worn pieces of jewellery; they are extremely versatile and do feel a little magical, actually.
When I get homesick for Sweden, where I grew up, I always do one of two things. I either make some mulled wine, even if it is almost 40 degrees Celsius outside, or I make a Swedish house necklace.
This one in fine silver is my favourite, it has a chimney and little golden heart on the door and looks a lot like my family’s falu red summer cottage outside the small town of Kalmar in the south of Sweden. No straight angles, wild garden, pear trees full of white fragrant flowers in springtime, surrounded by fog thick like dancing elves in Autumn mornings.
I just made these healthy cousins to traditional Swedish chocolate balls and I am really happy with the result. They instantly satisfy that enormous chocolate craving that I experience every night, but unlike their lard-laden relatives, they contain no butter and no added sugar.
1.5 cups of oats
3 tablespoons of protein powder, any will work, chocolate or vanilla flavor
3/4 cups of chopped pitted dates, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of cacao
4 squares Lindt chocolate, the really dark 85 % one (OK, this contains a little bit of butter, but all in all, not much!!)
1 tablespoon strong coffee
2-4 tablespoons water or milk (this depends on the type of protein powder you use, start with one tbsp and add water til you get a nice consistency)
Mix all ingredients except water/milk, preferably in a food processor but can also be done by hand; in that case, cut up the dates into really small pieces first. Add water or milk last. Roll into balls. If you like, you can roll the balls in coconut as well, but I didn’t this time.
I have come to Aireys inlet a few times now, and each time it is like all the stress drains out of my body as soon as I have climbed the hill up to the lighthouse. The view is breathtaking; the blue sky and the blue ocean; all different shades of blue. The fresh smell of seasalt, dry wood and spices. As I inhale the healing air, The Lighthouse Song (one of my absolute favourite Aussie songs, btw!) by Josh Pyke starts to play in my head.
I just had to make a necklace inspired by the colours. I had some ancient African trade beads resembling light bulbs; they are truly unique. The material resembles sea glass that has been polished by the ocean for a very long time, and the subtle irregular swirls look like the ocean bed. The beads have so much history and have been touched by so many hands; they were made in the early 1900s in Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic) for trade with Mali, where brides would wear them on their wedding day. I bought them from a Malinese lady; she said that she thought they were really old-fashioned, but I absolutely love them. For me, they really capture the essence of the Great Ocean Road.
Up near the lighthouse, we visited the Old Stables cafe; this is my favourite cafe in the whole world, seriously. The atmosphere is casually bohemian, and the chai tea is to die for. They also sell wonderful hand made home decorations, clothes and bags and I always buy something, to have a little piece of the Great Ocean Road in my suitcase when I go back home.
I love our new range of jewellery that has been plated with matte 22 karat gold; it is sleek and sophisticated but still with our usual edge. The different necklaces in the series look amazing layered and also look great with silver; the mixed metal look is still huge this season as you might have noticed if you have been checking out the scene at NY fashion week.
I RAN on high heels from the conference centre to Union Lane so I could take these photos before darkness fell. The pictures will speak for themselves; words are not necessary here. I am silent in awe.