The fairy tale theme for this week’s Self-Representing Artists in Jewelry Design blog challenge is the story of Rumplestiltskin. Unlike many fairy tales, where the story bears the name of the protagonist, this tale is named for the devious imp-like creature in the role of the antagonist.
The story begins with a young woman being locked in a room by a king who commands her to turn straw into gold using a spinning wheel. Why does the king demand this? Apparently, the girl’s father boasted that she could.
As stories told to children, fairy tales may have been used as moral lessons. I’m guessing the moral of the story of Rumplestiltskin is bad things happen to people who brag or stretch the truth. In this story, the girl’s father tells a tall tale, which gets her locked up. I think it would have been a better lesson if the father paid the penalty for his own words, but the rest of the story wouldn’t have worked as well.
Luckily for the poor young woman, Rumplestiltskin appears and offers to turn the straw to gold for her. For a price. First it was her jewelry, but ultimately it was the promise of her first born child. When that child is born, the woman tries to renegotiate the deal. The imp, whose name she does not know, gives her three days to guess his name, or he will take what he’s due.
I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, so I’ll stop there and get to the part about my Rumplestiltskin-inspired jewelry design. Because the story involves a spinning wheel, straw, and gold, I immediately envisioned something with a spiral, and gold-colored components.
The open wire spiral base of the earrings is made with 20-gauge gold-colored artistic wire. Open spirals are not my forte and I clearly need more practice in achieving smooth curves. These are a bit more rustic, or organic, than I would have liked for this challenge design. I did manage to make them the same size though. That’s progress.
Wire weaving, which is done here is 26-gauge artistic wire, is also not my strong suite. Nevertheless, they were fun to make and I can see re-doing them in different metals (copper, silver, bronze wire come to mind) and with different color beads (like turquoise, my favorite). Eventually I’ll get better at both techniques. Or, I’ll make the rustic-organic look part of the design.
The beads are Czech glass and the ear wires are gold-plated. Can you see straw being spun into bits of gold? That’s it for the story of my jewelry design for the Rumplestitskin challenge theme. The fairy tale theme for next week is the story of Beauty and the Beast. I hope you’ll stop by next week to see how I translate the symbols from that tale into a jewelry design.
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