Wednesday, 9 December 2015

History Hop: Paleolithic Style reveal!

Today is the reveal for the most recent instalment of the History Hop. Our inspiration this time was the Paleolithic era. This was a time in early history when primitive humans began to use tools and create art. There's more info on the period in my original post here.

Before I show you what I made, I'd like to thank all of you for taking part! I'm excited to see what each of you made. I hope you had as much fun creating for this challenge as I did!

I drew most of my inspiration from the cave paintings and simple tools of the era. I kept thinking back to the materials primitive man might have used - stones, fiber, gems...The first pair of earrings I made were inspired by the faceted tools called hand axes that our Paleolithic cave dwelling friends used. I carved my own "hand axes" from polymer clay. I used black as a nod to one of the many stones they would have used - obsidian.

I paired my little hand axes with rough amethyst gems and organic styled art glass pebbles by Julia Hay (she's also taking part in this blog hop). The glass pebbles really do look like little stones with patches of moss.

Finished with hemp and brass earwires (I don't think they had those back then, but you've got to wear them somehow!).

Next up is a pair of earrings inspired by the weather. Dull? I think not! I honed in on ice and snow, glaciers and touches of blue sky. These earrings have artisan ceramics by Scorched Earth and At Home In Taos. I wire wrapped icy rutilated herkimer quartz in blackened copper and finished with a pair of my handmade sterling silver hooks for an extra touch of icy cool colors.

Last but not least is actually the first piece I started designing. I fiddled around with a number of ideas for this necklace before giving up and making the earrings. It finally came together yesterday. You can probably tell this one is inspired by the cave paintings themselves. I chose a ceramic face bead by At Home in Taos and a terracotta arrow (it's actually a heart) by Scorched Earth. I used hemp to bind the pieces together and created a totem of stones above the face.

The totem is a mix of natural stones with an organic feel. I used turquoise, herkimer quartz and juicy amethyst. I created a little cradle for the stones with a hand worked copper base and wrapped it tightly with waxed hemp. I even worked in a tiny herkimer above the terracotta arrow to draw the eye to those mica sparkles. And they do sparkle!

The necklace is finished with strands of hemp cord and recycled sari silk in earthy terracotta, umber and pale mustard.

I hope you've enjoyed this blog hop! Please check out the full list of participants below.

Full list of participants:

Leah Curtis (hostess) - Beady Eyed Bunny
Shaiha's Ramblings
Julia Hay - Pandanimal
Rachel Mallis - Mint Monarch
Robin Reed - Artistry HCBD
Joanne Tinks
YeeLen Spirit Designs (will be revealing on Dec. 12th, please check back then!)
Karin G. - Gingko et Coquelicot
Dini Bruinsma
Deborah Apodaca
Tapping Flamingo

Facebook Participants:
Laura Bailey Taskey
Album for Facebook participants found in Bead Soup Cafe 

PS. Check back later for another blog post with a giveaway! I've made a special set of beads similar to the polymer clay hand axes I've used here.


  1. gorgeous stuff! Hard to choose, but I think I like the first pair of earrings the best. Good job!!! Now to go check out all the other stuff other's have come up with. Thanks for hosting this blog hop!

  2. Wonderful, magical pieces, I love them all, such a variety of materials and colors, and a lot of mystery and history. Loved the challenge so much, thank you Leah.

  3. Love the earrings, perfectly rustic and the twine wrapping on the necklace is fantastic.

  4. Love ♥ love the amazing earthy colour combinations... and your pictures as well. A stunning 'translation' of the photographs and objects you showed us to inspire us!!!

  5. Incredible designs! It's hard to pick a favorite but that first pair of earrings keep drawing me back.

  6. I love everything you have done Leah. thanks for using my mossy pebble beads. =) And thanks for organising this. I have had a lot of fun.

  7. Oh, everything is simply lovely! I don't know if I can chose a favorite--you did such a fantastic job staying with the theme. Thank you so, so much for organizing this... I had so much fun! :D

  8. I love the colors in all your pieces... especially the last one! Man, that amethyst is to die for! Thank you for hosting!

  9. Magnificent! I love all of them and the pair of Amethyst earrings is just perfect. Sorry for the delay but I have another drama in my family.

  10. All your pieces are wonderful. Love the beads you chose to capture the Paleolithic age!!

  11. Earrings are super cool. Thank you for the opportunity to show my pieces!