Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Challenge of Travel - Papua New Guinea

I love Erin's blog hops. I love that the inspiration comes partly from her (travel, literature, music...) and partly from the designer taking part, with the choice of country, piece of writing or music. I also love that Erin offers different levels of choice and control. I could have chosen my own country of inspiration within my continent of choice, but for this challenge, I decided to pick a continent I knew little about - Oceania - and picked the 'Surprise Me!' option for the country. 

My surprise was Papua New Guinea, a country I knew next to nothing about, apart from vague ideas of cannibalism in its past....I am somewhat geographically challenged, and so my ignorance didn't surprise me - Wikipedia is my friend, and I spent a bit of time reading about Papua New Guinea, it's cultural heritage - vibrant and very much alive - the old practice of cannibalism in some areas - died out now thankfully! - and searching through the internet's wonderful bank of images. 

There are of course many images of Papua New Guineans in full tribal festival garb; birds are an important part of their culture and a lot of their tribal-dress features feathers or feather-like decoration. 


Faces are often painted in bright colours and there is a lot of texture and movement throughout their dress. Colour - Birds - Movement - three things that perfectly capture the aesthetic towards which I strive in my jewellery designing and making! Much of Papua New Guinean tribal culture is based in the countryside, so I wanted to add in a natural element too. (This is another image I found and loved, but I believe copyright restricts me from showing it here - so do follow this link.)

Now, I could have gone totally overboard, made a dramatic collar, mimicking the country's own tribal wear. But I really felt this would be too obvious - it could make for some hugely dramatic jewellery, but it wouldn't really have taken the challenge beyond simply copying the country's own beautiful costume and decoration. Along with the four elements I listed above (colour, birds, movement, nature), I was struck by the repeated appearance of red with yellow. Checking out the country's flag 


I saw a link there too to this bold colour combination. 

So now that I've taken you through my design process, here's what I created.


Possibly not what you were expecting! I really did keep it simple here, and I hope you can really see my thought process behind each element. These are long, and have swing and movement, imitating feathers, and capturing the vibrant colours I was inspired by, and the natural element I was after with those wooden discs. Inspired by, but not copying, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Hopefully I'll get some more shots soon - I'm currently on holiday on Skye, and the weather and light have been rather autumnal for August! Hence this shot here. 

Looking forward to hopping round the other participants on my return to Manchester! Thank you so much to Erin for another fascinating and fantastic challenge. 

Monique Urquharthttp://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.ca/AfricaBurkina Faso
Niky Sayershttp://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk/AfricaEgypt
Therese Frankhttp://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.comAfricaKenya
Raychelle Heathhttp://abeadloveaffair.blogspot.com/AfricaLesotho
Joan Williamswww.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.comAfricaMauritania
Sherri Stokeyhttp://www.KnotJustMacrame.comAfricaSenegal
Regina Santerrehttp://reginaswritings.blogspot.comAfricaSeychelles
Raida Disbrowhttp://havanabeads.blogspot.comAfricaTanzania
Kristi Wodekhttp://livedinlife.blogspot.comAfricaZimbabwe
Sally Russickhttp://www.thestudiosublime.comAmericasBrazil
Melissa Trudingerhttp://beadrecipes.wordpress.comAmericasMexico
Tracy Stillmanhttp://www.tracystillmandesigns.comAmericasUSA
Sandra Wolberghttp://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.deAsiaIndia
Tanya Goodwinhttp://pixiloo.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Susan Kennedyhttp://suebeads.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Beth Emeryhttp://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Lisa Conehttp://inspiredadornments.blogspot.com/AsiaJapan
Tanya Bodenhttp://fusionmusebangkok.blogspot.com/AsiaJapan
Inge von Rooshttp://ingetraud.wordpress.comAsiaLaos
Erin Prais-Hintzhttp://treasures-found.blogspot.comAsiaNepal
Dee Elgiehttp://cherryobsidia.blogspot.comAsiaPhillipines
Carolyn Lawsonhttp://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.comAsiaSouth Korea
Lisa Stukelhttp://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.comAsiaSri Lanka
Elly Snarehttp://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.comAsiaThailand
Shelley Graham Turnerhttp://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.comEuropeAustria
Mallory Hoffmanhttp://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/EuropeBosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maximhttp://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.comEuropeFrance
Jenny Davies-Reazorhttp://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blogEuropeGermany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelsonhttp://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.comEuropeGreece
Evelyn Shelbyhttp://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/EuropeIceland
Holly Westfallhttp://silverrosedesigns.blogspot.com/EuropeIreland
Rebecca Siervaaghttp://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.comEuropeIreland
Toltec Jewelshttp://toltecjewels.blogspot.comEuropeIreland
Lee Koopmanhttp://StregaJewellry.wordpress.comEuropeIreland
Laren Dee Bartonhttp://larendeedesigns.blogspot.comEuropeItaly
Cindy Wilsonhttp://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.comEuropeNorway
Kathleen Lange Klikhttp://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.comEuropePoland
Shaiha Williamshttp://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/EuropePortugal
Jennifer Justmanhttp://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/EuropeRomania
Elsie Deliz-Fonsecahttp://ladelizchica.blogspot.comEuropeSpain
Lola Surwillohttp://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.comEuropeSweden
Kim Horahttp://www.kimmykats.comEuropeSwitzerland
Leanne Loftushttp://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.comEuropeThe Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemenhttp://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.comEuropeThe Netherlands
Marcie Carrollhttp://labellajoya.blogspot.comEuropeTurkey
Marlene Cupohttp://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.comOceaniaFederated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappellehttp://jewelsbyine.blogspot.comOceaniaFiji
Tammie Everlyhttp://ttedesigns.blogspot.com/OceaniaGuam
Alice Petersonhttp://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.comOceaniaKiribati
Elisabeth Auldhttp://www.beadsforbusygals.comOceaniaNauru
Susan McClellandhttp://mistheword12.wordpress.com/OceaniaNew Zealand
D Lynne Bowlandhttp://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.comOceaniaNew Zealand
Denielle Hagermanhttp://somebeadsandotherthings.comOceaniaNew Zeland
Rebecca Andersonhttp://songbeads.blogspot.comOceaniaPapua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchihttp://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/OceaniaSamoa
Kari Asburyhttp://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.comOceaniaSolomon Islands
Cece Cormierhttp://www.thebeadingyogini.com/OceaniaTonga
Emma Toddhttp://www.apolymerpenchant.comOceaniaTuvalu
Debbie Pricehttp://greenshoot.blogspot.comOceaniaVanuatu

32 comments:

scotknit said...

Amazing! The colour and movement here also bring to mind an island breeze against the backdrop of a sparkling blue ocean.

Jenni said...

Love the earthiness of the discs and the bright and vibrant dangles which mimic the feathers/tails of the birds.
jenni

Malin de Koning said...

I love them Rebecca! Love!!!!

Cece Cormier said...

Seriously awesome design. I'd wear those all the time. Enjoy your travels.

Linda Y said...

I love the earrings. You have such a uniques style!

Cilla said...

What a great challenge! Great earrings!

Tammie said...

You are right, not what I expected at all, but still very COOL~ you did capture the flavor of your nation. Thanks for sharing.

Tabatha D. said...

The earings turned out fantastic!

Niky Sayers said...

Really beautiful earrings, love the colors!

AntiquityTravelers said...

Oh wow!!! those are simply amazing! LOVE this design

Jennifer said...

I completely see how you got there! An earthy element, a colorful element - the shape of which echoes feathers and many aspects of the man's headdress. And so wearable!

Micheladas said...

I love the design of the earrings... wow simply beautiful.

Pixiloo said...

The earrings are great. I love how you used those headpins. The wooden circles are a perfect balance to the bright colors.

Patti Van said...

Totally not what I expected! I followed your link to the copyrighted image and fell in LOVE with all of the colors and THAT was what I expected - tons of colors! But, those are truly beautiful earrings, and I enjoyed reading about your design process!

Elisabeth said...

Love the earrings - love, love, love!

A Polymer Penchant said...

oh yes, I bet thouse have awesome movement. I think it's a very fitting design, greaat work!

Jewels By Ine said...

Stunning! really great!

beadrecipes said...

It's so interesting reading about everyone's inspiration and design process! I love these earrings and I can see how you came up with them. Fantastic!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for taking me on a wonderful trip to Papua New Guinea. The earrings you made as a keepsake of your travels through Papua New Guinea are beautiful and I bet the glass head pins not only move but tinkle as well.
Therese

LisaS said...

Love what you came up with. Very simple and elegant.

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Rebecca, when I am asked to link, I tend to comply; sometimes it isn't worth my effort. However, that particular photo of children in riotously colourful tribal regalia... OMG so worth it! Thank you for respecting the possibility of copyright and allowing your reader to experience a lovely surprise.

Speaking of copyright and surprise, those earrings are quite stunning, Rebecca. Expect imitators! Yes, your design was a "surprise". That you would envision something totally unique, while still reflecting this amazing nation's natural elements... well, that was NOT a surprise to me!

Holly said...

Oh, Rebecca! These are lovely interpretations of the symbols of Papua New Guinea! I can't wait to see the sunlight streaming through these earrings.

stregajewellry said...

color and movement and a distinctly modern but tribal look! I could do some serious dancing in these earrings! Beautiful!

Susanm said...

I love everything about these earrings. They remind me of a Calder sculpture.

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Rebecca, sweet friend, you never fail to amaze me with your work. Always exquisite, often unexpected in the most delightful ways. I loved seeing your thought process, what drew you in your research, the glimpses of the fascinating place you were assigned... and then the end result, fantastic!

Shaiha said...

Just beautiful! I can also hear the tinkling of the glass beads when wind blows through my hair.

Lived In Life said...

very much like the simplicity. The dangling pieces are sophisticated and reminiscent of the warrior in the photo. very nice. Enjoyed looking at your other blog posts. Beautiful work.

Kristen said...

I always love your unique take on challenges!!!! Awesome!

TesoriTrovati said...

Miss Rebecca, I am always so happy to have you journey with me! I am so glad that you enjoy my hops and you have totally grasped my concept to give you inspiration and choice and control while also allowing for a challenge! That makes me so very happy! I love what you made. Those earrings are fantastic. I would totally wear them! They are rustic and colorful, playful and down to earth. Perfect for the challenge and the place! Thank you for joining me on the journey around the world, Miss Rebecca! Enjoy the day. Erin
P.S. I love your pictures of your Skye trip! And your new jewelry is haunting my soul! ;-)

SueBeads said...

Beautiful earrings that fit your country perfectly!

Alice said...

I love your earrings! The colors, movement, and dangles representing feathers are perfectly put togther in this dramatic yet simple design!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

The earrings you created rock! They have a very tribal feel to them and represent the culture of Papua New Guinea beautifully. I don't think a dramatic collar was necessary either, you really summed up everything in these stunning earrings!

Nice work!

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