Thursday, 2 September 2010

Making Lapland Jewelry

I started making these bracelets a few years ago. Although I love painting sometimes I need a break to refresh - artists need a hobby too.  These days the hobby has taken over and there is not so much time left over for painting projects.

The craft of pewter embroidery was developed by the Sami people who live in mostly in Northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Penninsula in Russia.  Traditionaly the Sami people live by reindeer herding, fishing and hunting.
Hundreds of years ago the Sami people travelled to Norway to trade at the markets there.  Here they bought pewter which came from Cornwall and Ireland.  The Sami developed a method of spinning the pewter into a thread which could be used to decorate clothes, jewelry and other objects such as knife sheathes.

The problem with pewter is that when the temperature reaches under 15C, the pewter crystalises forming a grey powder.  Nowadays 4% silver is added to the pewter which prevents this process.  When the wire is new the metal is a wonderful frosty white color.  With use and wearing the wire takes on a lovely silvery patina.

The pewter tread is a fine material to work with.  It lends itself to plaiting or braiding and amazing designs can be made by combining different braid patterns.

5 comments:

  1. Älskar dina armband -underbar hobby! Lovely Swedish bracelests..your PINK one is my favorite! Kram//Eva

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  2. Thank you Angel Pearls for your commnts and kind support. I remember you had the pink one in one of your treasuries. Kram tillbaka.

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  3. these are great.. can you buy them?

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