Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
In Plain Sight
A Necklace & Earrings Parure
©2020 by Cynthia Rutledge

In Plain Sight ©2020 by Cynthia RutledgeJewelers have been mining the past for inspiration since ancient civilization. When you look at the history of antique jewelry, you see themes and techniques vanish and then reappear, over and over again, altered to fit the times.

A great example of this exotic style was the wildly popular Egyptian revival during the 1920's, responding to the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb. The likes of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Louis Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels created high jewelry, in the finest materials, setting the global imagination on fire with their reinvention of an historic theme using contemporary techniques.

My inspiration stems from the architectural aspects of the ruins of the ancient capitol city, Tikal (dating back to around 350 BC and abandoned in the 9th century AD). This pre-Columbian Mayan civilization is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin, which is now northern Guatemala. Consumed by the rainforest, Tikal was "found" again in the 1840's. The site is famous for its soaring temples, large royal palaces, residences, gaming courts and even a jail.

In Plain Sight revives the style of the temple pyramids that are found in Tikal. From 125 to 230 feet tall, these temple pyramids are made of limestone and have a stair-step style with a central staircase, carvings and a flat platform at the top.

The central component of the necklace is a layering of CRAW square shapes, stacked on top of one another, topped with a CZ platform. The edges have crystal embellishments to "tie" the shapes together. A peyote stitch bezel around a pear CZ adds the dangling element.

The necklace consists of alternating smaller CRAW squares embellished with CZ platforms and CRAW squares left plain, ending with a CRAW component that leads to a flat peyote stitch strap and metal bar clasp.

In Plain Sight ©2020 by Cynthia RutledgeA Parure, means a set, and In Plain Sight really needed a pair of earrings. I used the small square CRAW component, the smaller bezeled CZ component and the pear drop, connected to beautiful CZ set ear wires, for a stunning pair of earrings.

Workshop: This is a -day workshop.

Dimensions: Necklace: Desired length. My samples are 16 inches long plus the pendant (1.5 inches wide by 3 inches long). Earrings: .75 inches wide by 2.5 inches long from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the pear CZ.

Skill level: Intermediate to advanced. The basic knowledge of Cubic-Right-Angle Weave (CRAW) is highly recommended.

Bezel work
Cubic-Right-Angle Weave
Embellishing techniques
Flat, even count peyote stitch with increasing
Flat, odd count peyote stitch done in the step up/step down technique with decreasing
Tubular even count peyote stitch

On to Symbol of the West Workshop...

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