Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - Vintage on the Brain

It's Bead Table Wednesday again! This week, I've sure got some pretties for you. For the last week and a half, my bead table has been covered with vintage treasures just waiting to be repurposed into new treasures.

You know we moved recently. You may also remember from this post that the nearest city---though it's not very big---is full of old, old money. A lot of lovely pieces make their way into local antique stores and flea markets here. So you can probably imagine that I've been running around like a kid in a candy shop since we got here, gathering pretties to use! I love the vintage look and, when I can get my little grubbies on the real stuff, boy, I take it.

Lately, I've been particularly drawn to early- and mid-twentieth century faux ivory. Do you remember my faux scrimshaw tutorial? Yeah... it's sorta been a lifelong obsession... Hahaha! Anyway, below are my most recent finds: two carved Bakelite flower pendants, one with its necklace still intact; and a molded floral celluloid dress clip.

They are just so delicate and so beautiful; I love them. Now I've never had these kinds of materials before and had to do quite a bit of research to discover what they are. They're made out of very early plastics, some of the first ever made for the market. How awesome is that? Apparently Bakelite has become very valuable and sought after in recent years, too; not bad for a plastic! (I've just added some links with information on Bakelite and celluloid to my resource page, if you've got a hankering for a closer look.)

At the same antique store, I also found these lovelies: a small box of vintage beads/buttons and a grand piano key. The pendant on the right is a piece that was given to me by the owner of a gallery where I show my work. It is a glass and brass cabochon piece,  probably made in the transitional period sometime between the art nouveau and art deco periods in the early part of the twentieth century, although the snake was a very popular symbol in Victorian jewelry as well. I don't know too much about it but it caught her eye and she bought it and gave it to me to make something with. She's the person who first got me into working with repurposed vintage jewelry and components. I consider myself extremely lucky because she basically gave me a shoebox full of stuff and told me to go to town. :D

Again, at the same antique store, I found these vintage Avon lovelies. Meet my new friend, OwlFish!

I don't know what I'm going to do with him yet, but whatever it is, it's going to be fun!

It's been difficult working up my courage to actually work with some of these beauties, but I've finally overcome some of my fears. When I got the celluloid clip in the first picture, I bought another dress clip, too. It was a French brass filigree clip from the art nouveau period. I'm sorry I didn't get before and after pics, but here is the finished piece I made with it.

 I removed the clip back and folded the prongs down for balance, then used wire to fashion connectors to the back. After a TON of deliberation, I chose the turquoise bead to add because I love the look of brass and blue. :3 Then I used a color technique that I'll talk more about later this week and some antiqued brass chain to build the necklace around the piece. I really, really love the way it turned out.

Anyway! Phew... this post was longer than I thought it was going to be. XD
Please be sure to check out the awesome stuff that everyone else is sharing
for Bead Table Wednesday!

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Marian Hertzog said...

Love the carved looking pieces. You should make a polymer mold out of them. Great finished piece!

Therese's Treasures said...

Jacinta, Thank you for sharing your finds and giving me a chance to ooo and ahh over them I love the necklace you made very vintage pretty. I remember that Avon owl LOL!

CraftyHope said...

Oh how absolutely FUN!! I love this stash you've collected.

Pretty Things said...

Those are some amazing finds!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Holy *@^@&@( I love those Bakelite pieces!!! I have a few bangles and dress clips - that I use as blanks and have molds of. Prettiest plastic ever I totally agree . I also love vintage carved mournig jewelry. ... and your faux schrimshaw tut is one of my favorites!XOXO

( ...and hahaha "OwlFish")

art2cee2 said...

Love these vintage items. You and I are cut from the same cloth. I too frequent the tag sales and antique shops and boy can you come up with really cool things. I have a real ivory necklace (that was made from antique ivory) and while wearing it one day it broke and I was picking up ivory pieces from every direction. I have since restrung it but I wear it very rarely! :-)