Is ‘jewellery’ an over-used term?

29 12 2011

Recently I was watching day-time television – one of the perks / tortures of being on holidays – and I half-noticed an advertisement for what I thought was being called ‘thong jewellery’. Now, I wasn’t sure if I got that right (surely not), so to Google I went.

The first site that pops up when searching that particular term is Frostings. Yes: “the highest quality fashion jewellery for simple (and interchangeable!) attachment to your average thong“. [For the international readers, ‘thong’ in Australia is a casual footware and are more often referred to as flip-flops in other countries – phew, we don’t want any confusion here.] So, okay, ‘jewellery’ for footware (kinda cute, I could see my nieces getting into that).

I’ve also noticed (but tried to block it out) ‘glass jewellery’ or ‘wine glass charms’. They’re put around the stem of a wine glass, so you know which one is yours if you put it down.

randomly selected image from internet

Oh dear lord – the indignity of the clanking as you drink!

Do these uses of the word “jewellery” cause you concern? I was getting pretty annoyed with them personally, so thought I’d check dictionaries first… definitions include:

    1. articles of gold, silver, precious stones, etc., for personal adornment.
    2. any ornaments for personal adornment, as necklaces or cuff links, including those of base metals, glass, plastic, or the like.
  • Wikipedia:
    a form of personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
    The word jewellery itself is derived from the word jewel, which was anglicized from the Old French “jouel”, and beyond that, to the Latin word “jocale”, meaning plaything.
  • Cambridge Dictionary:
    decorative objects worn on your clothes or body which are usually made from valuable metals, such as gold and silver, and precious stones
  • Merriam-Webster:
    ornamental pieces (as rings and necklaces) worn on the person
  • Macmillan:
    objects that you wear as decoration. Types of jewellery include rings, which you wear on your finger, bracelets, which you wear on your wrist, and necklaces, which you wear around your neck
  • Reverso:
    objects that are worn for personal adornment, such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc., considered collectively
  • Illustrated Dictionary of Jewellery, quoted by this site:
    any decorative article, including any jewel, that is made of metal, gemstones or certain organic materials, of high quality and with artistry or superior craftsmanship and intended to be worn or carried on the person for personal adornment or, in the broader sense of the term, used by a person for some purpose closely identified with his convenience or pleasure rather than only for a utilitarian purpose
  • I’m sad that to access the Macquarie and Oxford English Dictionaries one needs to subscribe

So a general consensus that it is personal adornment, on body or clothes (remembering that the English monarchy loved little gems on their clothing) … so does that mean the ‘thong jewellery’ is perfectly fine?

The last definition quoted is interesting as it includes the possibility of carrying the item … though ‘carried on the person’ probably excludes ‘glass jewellery’ right?

Maybe I’m just a snob with the word ‘jewellery’? Maybe I need to relax and enjoy the evolution of the English language as it changes and adapts over time…

Then I thought … jewellery for pets … yes, it’s possible. A few sites caught my eye, with fancy collars and leads and pendants (for the collar, naturally). I can kind of understand decorating these objects, for even the bridles of the celtic warriors were adorned with magnificent work of goldsmiths (though I’m not convinced they called the pieces ‘horse jewellery’). The objects I’ve seen are restricted to cats and dogs …I was going to mention the menagerie of jewellery-lacking pets, and the possibilities of jewellery beyond the mere collar … but I best stop before I get carried away.

Next thing we hear about will be ‘house jewellery’ … no people, that’s called decorating. Plant jewellery? Car jewellery? Surely not…

Chairs. I want to know more.

28 12 2011

My beautiful chairs were deconstructed recently – as I posted.

In this state, I noticed they’re stamped with numbers (in the middle of the front piece on the base):

chair 10

chair 16

This intrigues me. I want to know more.

All I know is that their Danish – well, they were bought in Denmark (by Ed from Grandfathers Axe) recently. We think they’re between Art Deco and Modernist … maybe more mid-century, maybe not even Danish.

beautiful ... bringing sexy back ... yeah!

I wonder how many were made…
I wonder who the maker was…
I wonder how I can find out more ….

I did a little bit of reading a found a similar shaped chair, perhaps a precedent, attributed to the Scandinavian Art Deco period [here] … but I want to know more!

Update (29th December): I emailed the store with the similar shaped chair and they replied in super-speedy time (how great is that!). Their advice is that my chairs are likely Danish and from around 1930-55. Cool! Though my investigation continues….

Interwebs reading habits

28 12 2011

I thought it’d be funny to see what my interwebs reading habits are like. I use Firefox and it holds memory of the regularly used sites and pre-empts as I type …  if I type in a single letter, these are the sites suggested (of those most recently visited) …

A : Animals talking in all caps & ABC news

B : Bureau of Meteorology & BBC news

D : Dictionary (I like to spell stuff)

E : e.g.etal

F : (almost embarrassed) Facebook

G : Google mail (of course!) & The Goldensmith (David Neale) & Grandfathers Axe (I kind of stalk this site!)

H : Hotmail (yes, lots of emailling!)

K : Katherine Wheeler & Katherine Bowman & Katie Jayne Britchford

L : Lucy Hearn

M : my blog Melbourne Jeweller & Maker Wearer Viewer (Zoe Brand)

P : Pieces of Eight & Peaches + Keen

Q : Qantas (I like flying places)
: Readings (I like books)

S : Stuff my Girlfriend Says (it’s a little bit naughty sometimes)

T : The Age (I like the news)

U : unhappyhipsters

V : Vetti Live in Northcote

Of course, I still regularly read the blogs and sites on my Links Page … but not as often as I look at the above ones it seems.

That’s all for now.

Jewellery workshop

26 12 2011

Some excellent jewellery focussed workshops are being planned for 2012.

This one was on Anna Davern’s blog and information was also sent to me by the coordinator at Fibre Arts Australia.

Now you may not usually consider Fibre Arts to be a jewellery kind of thing – but you’d be wrong on this occasion!!

—- (info from Fibre Arts Australia site) —-

Art Jewellery @ The Winter School

Dates: 30th June – 5th July 2012
Where: Ballarat
Enrolment by: 1st March 2012

Workshop teachers:

BOWMAN Katherine, AUSTRALIA: Wax carving and casting including casting from nature

DAVERN Anna, AUSTRALIA:  Jewellery from sublimation printed metal and plastic

DOREMUS Sarah, USA: Kinetic Jewellery

GUINEY Caz, AUSTRALIA: Location based jewellery making 

HASH Arthur, USA:  Up cycling/ Design challenge

LIMB Ali, AUSTRALIA: Design and make simple contemporary jewellery pieces.  

PFEIFER Hilary, USA:  the playful object | ssǝɔoɹd lnɟʎɐld ǝɥ

SIMON Marjorie, USA: The Essentials of Torch-Fired Enamel

TAVERN Amy, USA: The Whole Jewel


workshop media; from Anna Davern's post; click on image for original source

Sounds a-maz-ing. I just may consider going myself … though you know I’m not so magnificent in workshops … this does sound great though…