inspired by Beaded Laughter: http://beadedlaughter.blogspot.com/
A list of fearless bead lovers have signed up to go on an odyssey into the past, our wise and beautiful leader is Leah Curtis from the Beady Eyed Bunny. Yes, it's the HISTORY HOP. I had great fun seeing what everyone made in the last history hop, so this time I decided to join in.
I have been interested in Native American culture, beading and jewelry for a long time. Contemplating this blog hop, I wondered about how far back in history I could reach, specifically could I go back before the introduction of glass beads into North America? A few glass seed beads might have come to North America as early as the 1700's, but it seems like they started to be widely used by the mid 1800's. So what was used for decoration before glass beads? Well, beads were carved out of stones, shells, wood, animal bones, claws, teeth and antlers. Of course there was also porcupine quills. Quill work is probably the oldest form of embroidery used by Native Americans, it is completely unique to North America. For my project I decided I wanted to reach back in time, before the introduction of glass seed beads, and use porcupine quills. Here begins my adventure.
I guess I could have ordered some quills from an on-line store. But, on the internet there are numerous sites that indicate you can harvest them yourself. Hmmmmmmmm. Tempting. I remembered seeing a road killed porcupine not too far from where I lived. Should I? Could I? Would I? Well, why not. Blog hops make you want to do the craziest things. Off I went on my bicycle with a pair of gloves and large Ziploc bag in search of a dead porcupine. About half an hour later I had a bag with some quills and hair. I left the remainder of the porcupine to rest in peace. Poor guy.
Here are the quills being washed
Something that didn't exist in the 1800's but I decided to use anyway was a little bleach. It did not change the color of the quills, but definitely made me feel a little better about getting rid of germs.
And here are the nice clean quills drying
For more info please see http://www.nativetech.org/quill/plait.html
Well, even though I was using a very old traditional material I kind of wanted to see what happened if I just did my own thing. This is what I made. I started with a necklace. I liked the pointy quill feel and wanted to keep it intact as much as possible. The quills are quite light weight and want to stick up sometimes so this is not a very practical piece of jewelry.
Next I wanted to try some embroidery. I decided to run my needle down the middle of the shaft, instead of flatten the quill. The embroidered piece ended up on the large side, over 5 inches across in diameter. I used coral and small shell heishie beads along with the quills.
An extremely HUGE thank you to Leah for all her hard work. I just love the button she choose for the hop. I'm excited to go check out all the other History Hop participants, here is the list so keep on hoppin!
Laney Mead - Māori - laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk
Becca - Art Nouveau - godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Melissa - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry - beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Tracy Stillman - Native American - tracystillmandesigns.com
Gerda - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry - gerdascraftsblog.blogspot.com
you are here ------> Liz E - Native North American - beadcontagion.blogspot.com
Ahowin - Māori (New Zealand) - blog.ahowinjewelry.com
Jasvanti - Indus Valley - jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
Lizzie - Art Nouveau - theneedtobead.blogspot.co.uk
Julia Hay - Merovingian - pandanimal.blogspot.co.uk
Dini - Celtic - angazabychanges.blogspot.nl
Caroline - Art Nouveau - blueberribeads.co.uk
Charlie - Moche of Peru - clay-space.com/blog
Karin - China - maverickbeads.blogspot.com
Niky Sayers - Rome - silverniknats.blogspot.com
Marcia Dunne - Celctic and Mourning Jewelry - thealternativefoundry.blogspot.co.uk
anafiassa - Mesopotamia - anafiassa.blogspot.com
Kokopelli - Native American - kokopellidesign.blogspot.com
Christa - Native American - adventuresofwonebeadywoman.blogspot.com
Clair - Roman - obstinatepursuit.blogspot.co.uk
Susan Bowie - Native American - susanbowie.wordpress.com
Gloria Allen - English Romanticism - gloriaallendesigns.blogspot.com
Sheila Garrett - Early Russia - 4brownowl.blogspot.co.uk