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Helga's Blog

dutch jewellery designer la leipsig

 

Stories from the daily live of an active metalsmith who tracks down
her muse with camera and sketchbook.

Four times a year I make a seasonal round-up of my activities here from my blog. By subscribing  you get this letter automatically delivered to your mailbox.

Have fun on my site, and if you have any questions or remarks on a blogpost ...
please leave a comment.

*** Due to lots of spam, I had to disable the comment function. ***

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Cheers,
Helga

 

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On the road to Christmas ...

It have been some busy weeks. My original blogplan didn’t work out but sometimes you have to be a bit flexible when other things are more important.

inner-star-silver miniIt started with the preparations for the Christmas market in Amsterdam. I designed a new display to show my jewellery. It took a lot of time but was very satisfying to make and worked really well. Then I made more small versions of the Inner Star, as some people add them to charm bracelets or use them as tiny pendants.

It’s always the challenge to calmly finish all the plans you have for a marketday. Then you can enjoy encountering new people and engage in fun conversations. As was the case on the Sunday market.

This time my son assisted me. He has a very good eye for construction and is more organised than I am. While I was busy arranging the jewellery he also made sure I had an internet connection. This is important because I now have a payment solution so people can pay with cards, very practical!

Then I went to stay with Yolanda Nieuwboer in Almere. I had applied for a private lesson focused on soldering. I wanted to step up my technical skills. Taking lessons from a master goldsmith with a lot of teaching experience is the way to go! Thank you Yolanda, you have taught me a lot that I can use in future designs.

soldeer les Yolanda

Last was a workshop Branding on Tuesday at the local Chamber of Commerce. Anja van Rijen, a fellow artist (working in ceramics), had invited me to come along. It really felt like a present. I learned tons and made new contacts as well. But then my head was full of knowledge and my studio a mess.

It was time for a day off.

Having a good sleep and a long walk with the dog was a good start. Working in the garden, such as raking leaves and pruning conifers for Christmas decorations is something that gets the tension out of me.

Christmas is coming fast now, I always turn inward, it’s a time of reflection. I look back on what I've accomplished this year and be grateful for it. I want to celebrate what I have achieved. Only then it can get silent in me and am I able to listen what I want to achieve next year.

I wish you all merry days,
enjoy this beautiful time of the year with your family and friends.

 

inner-star Cambia-goud-accent

Words and themes connected to Water symbolism

water-cuba-zeeSince my blogpost Symbolism in Helga's jewellery, I am struggling with my story about the symbolism of water. I wrote many lines of what it means to me.

Very difficult because in the end I couldn't choose. It was as if a dam had been built somewhere in the river. The water couldn't get through, but it kept rising.

Fortunately my intention word for this year came to the rescue: PLAYFULNESS

It occurred to me that I shouldn't have to make it that complicated. It can be a kind of game to explore what it means. Show you which words and themes are associated with water and are important with respect to my jewellery. I don't have to make any revelations, it's about the associations.

So what did I do?

I put all the words that historically and intuitively belong to the symbol water on an A4. Then I started playing. If something was important to me, it got big letters.  Through colours I could indicate an emotion (and yes, colour was used symbolically).

My former job as a graphic designer came in handy while playing. The fonts also have a certain kind of feel that I used for the words.

In this way, my creativity began to flow again, and I had fun in the process.
And that's exactly the point.

The green words on the card are my own associations with water.

 
water-symbols

A practical overview of words and themes that historically and intuitively
are connected to water symbolism
.

 

La Roux, a new collection

La Roux silver pendant La Roux is a happy and playful series that originated after a cooking accident and some great comments from friends (online and offline). In this blog you can read how the burnt roux was converted into a mold and the 1st silver La Roux pendant was created.

Then I made a matching pair of earrings and took these La Roux jewellery to the different art markets. There they were exposed to a larger audience . It is a series that always manages to catch a lot of attention (especially if I tell how it's created).

Karin was one of my clients who fell for the charm of these jewels. She bought the pendant and earrings that I had with me and then ordered a ring and a year later the bracelet. She now has a matching set and wears them with pleasure.

I am very pleased with the La Roux jewelry, in the course of a year they have become a mature collection. It seems such a simple series but there is an incredible force in them, the power of collaboration and fun.

Like the power of a waterfall, sparkling and flowing.

Zilveren armband La Roux serie - La Leipsig Jewels.

It's about time that the La Roux collection is put online (butterflies in my stomach - exciting). I'm curious what you think of it.

Every picture clicks through to the jewelery section where you can find more information. Ordering is done by sending me an email with the name of the piece.
Then we will talk about size and any other requirements.

 

75.000 year old shells considered jewellery material

Historic Jewellery talks but you have to listen carefully – part 2

Since my last blog about a 4000 year old pendant from Mesopotamian I got curious what the oldest historic finds are that you can call jewellery.

My inquiry after the oldest adornments led to the workfield of anthropologists. They investigate the lifestyles of ancient peoples and try to make a coherent story about our earliest origins with the remains they find.

Blombos cave-shell-beads Nassarius kraussianus
Image created by C. Henshilwood
& F. d'Errico.It iI
In the Blombos cave in South-Afrika are the oldest finds with the best evidence. There a team, led by archaeologist Henshilwood, is excavating objects of 100,000 -70 000 years old.

The excavated 68 pierced shells of the Nassarius kraussianus have been labeled beads by Henshilwoods team. They are estimated at 75,000 years old and come from the stone age.

What arguments do the anthropologists have that these shells may be called  ornaments? 

  1. These shells come from a region at least 20 km away from the Blombos cave. Early man deliberately brought them to the cave.
  2. The shells are too small to have any food value.
  3. They all have the same size, it seems like they are picked on purpose.
  4. All pierced on the same primitive way.
  5. And they have identical wear surfaces on the sides, which points to use in a chain.

Marian Vanhaeren, one of the members of the Tracsymbols team, connected them to a chain, like the Homo sapiens did too 75,000 years ago.

Blombos Cave shell beads necklaceBlombos cave shells strung to a necklace.
Image by M. Vanhaeren & C. Henshilwood.

The Homo sapiens strung with some homemade rope the shells into a necklace for adornment. This allowed him or her to stand out from the others.

So at first glance there hasn't changed a lot in our jewellery world. :-)

It means a lot that there are signs of jewellery dating to this time. Wearing jewellery is related to the ability to use symbols.

Without language you can't communicate these symbols. Thus with these findings it can be reasonably assumed that the Homo sapiens had a language with which they could communicate already 75,000 years ago. (also have a look at this BBC article )

Jewellery has more meaning than you would initially say. They tell when we started to talk to each other, because if you can't communicate, symbols have no meaning.

You can find more images on my pinterest page

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Toadstools & Gills

Mushroom

In fall I encounter all kinds of toadstools.

The different variations always tempt me to photograph them.

This time I am most impressed by a large white mushroom that I found on my morning walk. It stood in the meadow, measuring some 10 cm (I think it’s a Russula variant).

paddestoel-mushroom-top

He stood firm in the grass catching dewdrops. On the first day the top was still taut but after a few days it began to dry slightly, so the edge started to curl.

This made the gills at the bottom very visible.

They are like little curtains hanging along each other.

Toadstool gills

You can see this clearly on the drawing I made. The gills inspire me to do new experiments in the Earth series but that will be a whole new blogpost.

The beauty is that a toadstool is but a small part of the organism. Underneath the ground is a large threadlike hyphae system that is called Mycelium, that is the actual plant. (More can be found on the website of Wikipedia).

With creativity and making my jewellery it’s actually the same. What you see, the jewellery, is only a small part of what inspires me. Therefore it’s so nice to show my "threads" of inspiration, like this toadstool and his gills.

About La Leipsig

The jewellery which is sold under the brand name La Leipsig Jewels is based on Helga van Leipsig's observations of the nature in Limburg, a province in the south of The Netherlands.

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