Exploring the Creation of one of the Earliest Designs

In 2017, after I felt I had exhausted all of my possibilities with combining beadwork with metalwork, I looked at embarking on a more 'lifelong' interest. I watched a few history documentaries on Egypt and Greece and something began to stir in my imagination and I remember feeling really inspired again. I had watched these documentaries while I was in Spain and when I returned home, I picked up a copy of The Histories by the Ancient Greek author, Herodotus.


At the time, I had no idea that it was going to completely change the way I approached jewelry. I didn't even know who Herodotus was, I had heard his name come up from time to time but I didn't know anything about him. As I began reading The Histories, I realized how inspiring and important of a book it was. I began downloading lectures from the Great Courses Plus and studying as much as I could to understand this part of history that was briefly taught to me in school.


I began designing like crazy.


This design was the earliest of all of them. I wanted to create a hollow form in the shape of all those amazing amphorae/vessels that were made to transport goods across the Mediterranean, or made as votive offerings to the Ancient Gods and Goddesses, and turn them into earrings. These vessels are made entirely by hammering sheets of metal into a three-dimensional form, crossing your fingers, doing a little dance, and hoping that they come together "in the end." Each vessel that I've made, has been different in some way, so I love that the making of this design is open to creative interpretation with each go.


The temple at the top is an amalgam of temple designs from various Greek and Roman coins. I chose to make the temple with 5 pillars for a variety of reasons:

  • to highlight the fact that we have 5 senses and it's how we interpret the world around us

  • as a symbol of the 'human touch' (5 fingers) that art and architecture adds to the world

  • Aristotle came up with the idea that the universe is made up of 5 elements (earth, air, water, fire, and ether)



Thank you so much for reading! And please email me, Caitlin, at agujayclavo@gmail.com with any questions regarding these pieces.

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© 2021 by Aguja y Clavo Jewelry