Archive | February 2016

John Ruskin

I have long loved the art of John Ruskin (1819-1900). I was given a card in the 1970s with a reproduction of one of his watercolours, and I still have it. It’s a study of a peacock breast feather, held in the Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield.

John Ruskin. Study of a Peacock's Breast Feather. 1875. Watercolour, 22.3 x 14.7 cm.

John Ruskin. Study of a Peacock’s Breast Feather. 1875, watercolour, 22.3 x 14.7 cm.

This first got me interested in his art, especially his stunning watercolours (click on all pics to make bigger):

John Ruskin. Rocks and Ferns in a Wood at Crossmount. 1847. Perthshire. Pencil, ink, watercolour and bodycolour, 32.3 x 46.5 cm

John Ruskin. Rocks and Ferns in a Wood at Crossmount, Perthshire. 1847, pencil, ink, watercolour and bodycolour, 32.3 x 46.5 cm.

John Ruskin. The Garden of San Miniato near Florence. 1845, watercolour on paper.

John Ruskin. The Garden of San Miniato near Florence. 1845, watercolour on paper.

John Ruskin. Mountain Rock and Alpine Rose. 1844-1849, pencil, ink, chalk, watercolour and bodycolour, 29.8 x 41.4 cm.

John Ruskin. Mountain Rock and Alpine Rose. 1844-1849, pencil, ink, chalk, watercolour and bodycolour, 29.8 x 41.4 cm.

John Ruskin. Part of the Façade, San Michele, Lucca. 1845, pencil and watercolour on pale cream paper, 33 x 23.3 cm.

John Ruskin. Part of the Façade, San Michele, Lucca. 1845, pencil and watercolour on pale cream paper, 33 x 23.3 cm.

John Ruskin. The Chateau of Neuchatel at dusk, with Jura mountains beyond. 1866, pencil and watercolour, 13.3 x 21 cm.

John Ruskin. The Chateau of Neuchatel at dusk, with Jura mountains beyond. 1866, pencil and watercolour, 13.3 x 21 cm.

John Ruskin. Coast Scene near Dunbar. 1847, pencil and watercolour, 32.5 x 47.5 cm.

John Ruskin. Coast Scene near Dunbar. 1847, pencil and watercolour, 32.5 x 47.5 cm.

The Casa d'Oro, Venice. 1845, pencil and watercolour, with bodycolour, 33 x 47.6 cm.

John Ruskin. The Casa d’Oro, Venice. 1845, pencil and watercolour, with bodycolour, 33 x 47.6 cm.

John Ruskin. Study of a peacock feather and another feather.

John Ruskin. Study of a peacock feather and another feather.

Ruskin was particularly fond of painting peacock feathers. In 1875 he wrote, ‘I’ve to draw a peacock’s breast-feather, and paint as much of it as I can without having heaven to dip my brush in.’

I wanted to get some postcards printed for my Etsy shop – my first attempt at branding – and needed an image. My photography doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny, so in the end I thought I’d just choose an image I love, and that was available for free use. It meant that my postcards wouldn’t reflect what I sell in my shop – probably a huge no-no when it comes to branding, but I’d rather have a lovely picture rather than a crappy one I took of some of my beautiful vintage jewellery. The image I settled on is one Ruskin painted of a kingfisher.

John Ruskin. Kingfisher.

John Ruskin. Kingfisher. 1870-1871, pencil, ink, watercolour and bodycolour, 25.8 × 21.8 cm.

If you would like to know more about John Ruskin – he was so much more than just an artist – his Wikipedia page has much information and many links to more. Also, this blog is an interesting place to start.

Sunday stroll: south-west Wiltshire

Today we went for a walk out from our village. Signs of spring are everywhere now, despite the sub-zero temperatures we’ve been having overnight for the past few days. Our neighbour’s bank has its glorious display of Cyclamen coum

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The hazel catkins are out and the snowdrops are at their best right now

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In one of the gardens walking out of the village is an old shepherd’s hut, with one axle broken. It reminds me of A Shepherd’s Life by W H Hudson, which I must re-read again. It was published in 1910, and in it he describes the life of the shepherds on the south Wiltshire downs over a hundred years ago, when those still living had memories going back to the early 1800s. I especially love it as he mentions our village.

An old shepherd's hut, that has seen better days.

An old shepherd’s hut that has seen better days.

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We walked out of the village to the sort of chalk downland on which the shepherds about which Hudson wrote would have tended their flocks

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Beautiful fungus on an old hawthorn stump:

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A hawthorn clump in the grazing land, giving shelter to the sheep and a haven for the birds. In the foreground you can see molehills with the freshly-turned white chalk lumps in them.

A hawthorn clump in the grazing land, giving shelter to the sheep and a haven for the birds. In the foreground you can see molehills speckled with freshly-turned white chalk lumps.

Lovely old gate furniture.

Lovely old gate furniture.

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Periwinkle and dog's mercury.

Periwinkle and dog’s mercury among the beech leaves.

Signs of spring: the first chaffinch song

I love the markers of the year’s advance, a series of firsts leading to full-blown spring and glorious summer. One of the earliest markers that spring has truly arrived is when our pond starts roiling with mating frogs. That happened two weekends ago. Today I heard another marker: the first spring song of the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs).

Male chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs). Photo by Gidzy.

Male chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs). Photo by Gidzy.

We have chaffinches here year-round, but it is only in the spring that they sing this glorious descending song. I associate it with walks in the beech woods with the acid-green leaves bursting out of their buds. It’s not the most exciting of bird songs, but it is one of the most redolent ones for me. It means the sun is on its way back to us.

Gravitational waves – wooo!

Congratulations to the scientists at LIGO who just now have announced they have detected gravitational waves, from the merging of a pair of black holes. This is the first time we have had the evidence of what up to now was theorised but not observed. A huge day for science. And Albert was right!

 

N E From jewellery sold in my Etsy shop

As I have mentioned before, I have a real soft spot for the work of Niels Erik From, the Danish jeweller (1908—1982). He is considered one of the greats of Danish silver design, and his pieces are very collectable. I always try to have some of his jewellery for sale.

As my previous blog post about him was getting very cluttered, I have pulled out all the items that I have sold. I like to keep a record of his gorgeous pieces that have passed through my shop, and so I’m showing them here.

I have plenty (20 at current count) in my shop for sale at the moment, so do please pop by!

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N E From mid 1970s (1974 import mark) modernist necklace in rock crystal and sterling silver with a paperclip link chain. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From modernist amethyst necklace with paperclip chain.

N E From modernist amethyst necklace with paperclip chain. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Another view of the NE From amethyst necklace. The cabochon is huge - 21 mm in diameter.

Another view of the NE From amethyst necklace. The cabochon is huge – 21 mm in diameter. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage Niels Erik From modernist rose quartz necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage Niels Erik From modernist rose quartz necklace. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

Modernist Baltic amber pendant by Niels Erik From. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Another view of my NE From tigers eye necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From early 1970s modernist necklace in rose quartz and sterling silver. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From early 1970s modernist necklace in rose quartz and sterling silver, with a curved bar chain. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage modernist moss agate and sterling silver ring by N E From. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage modernist moss agate and sterling silver ring by N E From. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From sterling silver square link bracelet. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Another view of the NE From sterling silver square link bracelet. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From tigers eye and sterling silver modernist ring, with a 1974 London import mark. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From Baltic amber modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From Baltic amber modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From sterling silver brooch. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From modernist rose quartz and sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From modernist rose quartz and sterling silver ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From rose quartz clip on earrings, set in sterling silver. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for detail.

N E From rose quartz clip on earrings, set in sterling silver. Click on photo for detail. (NOW SOLD).

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Niels Erik From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

NE From amethyst and sterling silver post earrings for pierced ears. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From modernist rhodochrosite and sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Niels Erik From modernist rhodochrosite and sterling silver ring, large head size. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From modernist amethyst ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From modernist amethyst ring, large head size. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring, for sale in my Etsy shop. Click on photo for details.

Niels Erik From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring, large head size. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

N E From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring, larger size head 16 mm diameter. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From nephrite and sterling silver modernist ring, small head size. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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N E From moonstone and sterling silver modernist ring, small head size. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From moderist sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From modernist sterling silver ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From Baltic amber pendant and chain. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From amethyst pendant and chain. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From rhodochrosite and sterling silver pendant. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Niels Erik From amethyst and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From amethyst modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From onyx and sterling silver modernist ring, for sale in my Etsy shop. Click on photo for details.

Niels Erik From black onyx and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

NE From rose quartz ring, with a larger head at 16 mm diameter. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Niels Erik From rose quartz and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

Niels Eric From modernist rose quartz clip on earrings. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Niels Erik From rose quartz and sterling silver modernist bracelet. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From Baltic amber moderist brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From Baltic amber modernist brooch. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik

Niels Erik From modernist sterling silver brooch. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

N E From sterling silver calla lily necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal design necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

NE From calla lily / petal braclet, this one with eight large links. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal bracelet, this one with eight large links (the same size as the links in the necklace). Has a waisted, tapering toggle. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal bracelet, this one with eight large links (the same size as the links in the necklace). Varies from the bracelet above as it has a square-sectioned bar toggle. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Modernist sterling silver bracelet by Neils Erik From. For sale in my Etsy shop: click photo for details.

Modernist sterling silver bracelet by Niels Erik From. NOW SOLD. 

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal bracelet, this one with eleven small links. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal bracelet, this one with eleven small links. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. NOW SOLD.

Pendant.

Sterling silver pendant by Niels Erik From. Click photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From calla lily / petal design brooch.

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal design brooch, a single sprig with 5 small petals. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

A different call leaf design brooch by NE From.

Another sterling silver calla lily / petal design brooch by NE From. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal design dangle clip on earrings. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Clip on sterling solver earrings

Clip on sterling silver earrings by Niels Erik From. Click photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From sterling silver clip on earrings. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver clip on earrings. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From sterling silver modernist bracelet, pendant and earrings. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From sterling silver modernist bracelet, pendant and earrings. Click on photo for details. (ALL NOW SOLD).

Vintage NE From sterling silver leaves brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage NE From sterling silver leaves brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From tiger's eye and sterling silver modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Niels Erik From tiger’s eye and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From modernist rose quartz ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From modernist rose quartz ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD)

N E From rose quartz modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photos for details.

N E From rose quartz modernist ring. Click on photos for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Niels Erik From modernist Baltic amber ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From green chalcedony ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From green chalcedony ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From tiger's eye ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From tiger’s eye ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). NE From sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery. Click on photo for details. 

NE From sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From modernist Baltic amber and sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From modernist Baltic amber and sterling silver ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Niels Erik From modernist rose quartz ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage N E From Baltic amber modernist ring.

Vintage N E From Baltic amber modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring, for sale in my Etsy shop. Click on photo for details.

Niels Erik From Baltic Amber and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From chrysoprase adn sterling silver modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From chrysoprase and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Niels Erik From Baltic amber and sterling adjustable silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From carnelian and sterling silver modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop. Click on photos for details. (NOW SOLD.)

Niels Erik From carnelian and sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photos for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From modernist Baltic amber ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From modernist Baltic amber ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From sterling silver modernist ring.

N E From sterling silver modernist ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

NE From sterling silver bypass bobble ring. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Niels Erik From Baltic amber daisy necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Niels Erik From Baltic amber daisy necklace. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From amethyst and sterling silver daisy ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From amethyst and sterling silver daisy ring, in his earlier, Skønvirke-inspired style. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Baltic amber and sterling silver ring, by Niels Erik From of Denmark. (NOW SOLD).

Baltic amber and sterling silver ring, by Niels Erik From. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From amber daisy ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From amber daisy ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Another Baltic amber and sterling silver ring, by Niels Erik From. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

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Baltic amber and sterling silver ring, by Niels Erik From. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD). 

NE From rose quartz ring. For sale in my shop: click for details.

NE From rose quartz ring. For sale in my shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From sterling silver ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage N E From sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage N E From sterling silver ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From Baltic amber floral pendant. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Baltic amber floral pendant by Niels Erik From of Denmark, a 1960s piece in his earlier Skønvirke-inspired style. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

NE From rose quartz pendant. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From amazonite and sterling silver brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From amazonite and sterling silver brooch. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

N E From vintage sterling silver double daisy ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From vintage sterling silver double daisy ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage N E From single daisy sterling silver ring.

Vintage N E From single daisy sterling silver ring. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Small N E From turquoise pendant and chain. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Small N E From turquoise pendant and chain. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

Rings that remind me of things: Part 7

Part 7 of an occasional series about rings in my Etsy shop that remind me of things.

Ring:

Vintage Swedish green chrysoprase and sterling silver ring, made in 1957.

Vintage Swedish green chrysoprase and sterling silver ring, made in 1957. (NOW SOLD).

Thing:

The eyes of a jumping spider. Photo by Opoterser.

The eyes of a jumping spider. Photo by Opoterser.

So far I have had rings that remind me of an Iron Age hillfort, an alien spaceship, a cream horn, a radio telescope, Noah’s Ark, and an octopus tentacle.

Hmmm. Maybe I should get out more ….