Celebrating Día de los Muertos (with Jewelry!)

October 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

My interest in skull jewelry, especially memorial and sentimental jewelry, began after I spent time traveling in Europe, visiting art museums. However, a trip to Oaxaca at the end of October a few years ago really sealed the deal. Día de los Muertos {the Mexican celebration The Day Of The Dead} remembers and celebrates the lives of those we have lost. And, it reminds me that I cannot resist incorporating skulls into necklace, earring and charm bracelet designs, as well as a few colorful beaded flowers and subtle rhinestones.

Etched Sterling Silver Teardrop Skull Earrings

Etched Sterling Silver Teardrop Skull Earrings by Jenne Rayburn

As a design image, skulls are timeless.

Throughout hundreds of years of art and history, the skull has communicated two important messages, “I’m dangerous”, and the idea of reflection, transformation and growth. The symbols and motifs we associate with these messages have always been part of a broader art and cultural movement, dating back to ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Aztecs who used the skull as a symbol of the cycle of death and rebirth. Memento Mori, thought to have originated in Rome and translated from Latin as “remember your mortality” speaks to the idea that life is short and death is the great equalizer. Symbolic Vanitas, a genre of still-life painting in which temporal pleasures are juxtaposed with a skull, were commonly depicted in Medieval times to remind people of the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. The Victorian Era, one of my favorite time periods, produced Mourning jewelry, which was the height of fashion during Queen Victoria’s reign, from 1851 to about 1880. Our contemporary fascination with skulls in fashion can be traced to the mid-2000s when bad-boy designer Alexander McQueen made a crystal skull his brand’s signature, working to create a fierce identity not only for himself but also for the women he dressed.

Etched and Enamelled Momento Mori Skull Pendant

Etched and Enamelled Memento Mori Skull Pendant by Jenne Rayburn

I always try to project my modern sensibilities into the skull jewelry I create, while appreciating the skull’s historic significance. I encourage people to consider a symbol’s cultural and historical meaning. That meaning is always part of the artistic intent, even it does not immediately resonate with the wearer. Most importantly, a skull is not always about death. Sentimental jewelry is possibly the most misunderstood of all jewelry, especially when used to commemorate the death of specific persons. People tend to see it as morbid and grisly, while the intent was often beauty and virtue. Creating adornment to honor someone’s life, with a piece of mourning jewelry or Memento Mori that you can remember him or her by, is ancient and universal, and one of the key behaviors that distinguishes humanity.

Sterling Silver and Bone Skull Earrings

Sterling Silver and Bone Skull Earrings by Jenne Rayburn

Antique Expedition ~ Fall 2013 Brimfield Antique Show

September 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

One of my favorite events of the year is the Brimfield Antiques Show where I look forward to chatting with venders about jewelry history and culture as much as I do discovering a new piece for my designs. Most of the components for my vintage inspired jewelry are found right here in New England using locally sourced vintage textiles, buttons, and costume jewelry, and with up-cycled materials such as discarded findings and components from bygone jewelry manufactures. This Fall my mom, Barbara, joined me for a week of antiquing, inspiration and education on everything from hand hooked rugs and mid-century dining tables, to antique silver native american beads and Victorian mosaics.

My Brimfield Antiques week started off with a one day indoor Vintage Textile and Vintage Clothing Show in nearby Sturbridge. Approximately 250 Vendors set up at the Host Hotel, selling everything from vintage fashion and textiles to buttons, belts and shoes, to hats and jewelry. We spent the next few days walking the many fields, starting at 7 am, going until we couldn’t walk another step.

Here are a few finds that inspired us:

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My trusty side-kick (Mom) taking a break in one of the many fields we visited during our week at Brimfield, MA antique shows.

IMG_1920IMG_1919IMG_1935Antique Treasures Found at Brimfield Fall 2013IMG_1933 IMG_1926IMG_1938

The Brimfield Antiques Show is the largest outdoor antiques show in the world, with over 6,000 dealers and 130,000 visitors during the course of one week, held three times a year in May, July and September. I always look forward to attending! While I refer to the week as “Brimfield”, the entire show is composed of 23 fields, owned by individual promoters who lease spaces to dealers from all over the world. The large fields of venders are located on a mile long stretch of a two-lane road (both sides!) just outside the town of Brimfield, in central Massachusetts. Different fields open on different days with unique venders, so each day is filled with new discoveries!

Vintage Lucite Statement Necklaces

July 5, 2013 § 1 Comment

Our SoWa booth is awash in bright summer colors, with a new collection of vintage Lucite statement necklaces, fashioned from my huge collection of vintage beads and findings. Lucite makes a wonderful fashion accessory for several reasons. Foremost, Lucite is lightweight, making dramatic statement necklaces easy to wear. The colors still available from vintage stock are exotic and vibrant, making it a fashion accessory to compliment any style or outfit while letting your inner fashionista shine through. Be sure to stop by and try them on!

Vintage Lucite Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

Vintage Lucite Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

IMG_1702 IMG_1703 IMG_1704

Vintage Lucite Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

Vintage Lucite Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

Vintage Lucite Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

Vintage Lucite Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

Many women are afraid of bright colors, because they are worried that the color won’t be flattering or will draw too much attention. However, wearing a bright color that complements your eye color or skin tone can bring a glow to your face and a sparkle to your eyes resulting in a bold look that will make you look and feel terrific.

Summer At SoWa ~ Early Summer

June 26, 2013 § 1 Comment

You can find me at SoWa again this summer! Touted as the best outdoor shopping in Boston, at SoWa Open Market you can buy top-notch items from local artisans, making everything from couture fashion and leather accessories to jewelry, ceramics, and glassware.

You can find us at SoWa on the following Sunday dates:

June 2, 2013, June 23, 2013, July 14, 2013, August 18, 2013, September 22, 2013 and October 27, 2013

SoWa Summer Market Jenne Rayburn

SoWa Boston Outdoor Craft Market

Handcrafted Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Necklaces by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Cuff Bracelets by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Cuff Bracelets by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Cuff Bracelets by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Cuff Bracelets by Jenne Rayburn

SoWa Open Market is an open air crafts and art market, in the cultural district of Boston located South of Washington Street, showcasing handmade goods by talented small business owners from all over New England and beyond.

Handcrafted Leather Clutch Handbags ~ Now at WULLA!

June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am excited to share with you that my handcrafted leather clutch handbags, sometimes embellished with antlers and horsehair tassels, are now available at Wulla in Gloucester, MA!

Handcrafted Metalic Leather Clutch by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Metallic Leather Clutch with Vintage Glass Sequins by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Leather Clutch with Vintage Glass Sequins by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Leather Clutch with Antler Toggle by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Metallic Leather Clutch by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Metallic Leather Clutch with Horsehair Tassel by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Black Leather Clutch by Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Black Leather Clutch by Jenne Rayburn

Treasure Hunting At May 2013 Brimfield Antique Show

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

I feel very lucky to have a wealth of knowledgeable antique and vintage experts in my own back yard. One of my favorite events of the year is the Brimfield Antiques Show where I look forward to chatting with venders about jewelry history and culture as much as I do discovering a new piece for my designs. Most of the components for my vintage inspired jewelry are found right here in New England using locally sourced vintage textiles, buttons, and costume jewelry, and with up-cycled materials such as discarded findings and components from bygone jewelry manufactures.

My Brimfield Antiques week started off with a one day indoor Vintage Textile and Vintage Clothing Show in nearby Sturbridge. Approximately 250 Vendors set up at the Host Hotel, selling everything from vintage fashion and textiles to buttons, belts and shoes, to hats and jewelry. Tuesday to Friday I stayed at a delightful bed and breakfast, Lord Manner, and walked the fields from 6am to 6pm. I was not the early bird though! By the time I arrived some people were already carting their treasure off to new homes.

Here are a few of my most memorable finds – I didn’t purchase any of them, but found them to be inspiring!

IMG_1527 Vintage Dress Form Industrial Chic Mirror Mid Century Earrings Jenne Rayburn Brimfield 2013 Arts and Crafts English Candlesticks Jenne Rayburn Brimfield 2013 Victorian Woodwork Architectural Salvage McLaren's Industrial Tables Powder Canisters Jenne Rayburn Brimfield 2013Custom Industrial Chic Lighting

The Brimfield Antiques Show is the largest outdoor antiques show in the world, with over 6,000 dealers and 130,000 visitors during the course of one week, held three times a year in May, July and September. I always look forward to attending! While I refer to the week as “Brimfield”, the entire show is composed of 23 fields, owned by individual promoters who lease spaces to dealers from all over the world. The large fields of venders are located on a mile long stretch of a two-lane road (both sides!) just outside the town of Brimfield, in central Massachusetts. Different fields open on different days with unique venders, so each day is filled with new discoveries!

After The Show ~ Handcrafted Jewelry Trunk Show

May 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

I thought I would share a few pictures from the fabulous trunk show hosted by my friend Rhiannon Hayes (thank you!) Mother’s Day Weekend. We had so much fun and met lots of wonderful people. Looks like I will show again in the fall at the FPCA Fall Open Studios ~ stay tuned!

Handcrafted Jewely By Jenne Rayburn

Rhiannon’s Dinning Table, All Dressed Up With Handcrafted Jewely By Jenne Rayburn!

Handcrafted Jewelry By Jenne Rayburn Handcrafted Jewelry By Jenne Rayburn Handcrafted Jewelry By Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Jewelry By Jenne Rayburn

Totemic Necklaces, Handcrafted By Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Jewelry By Jenne Rayburn

Sterling Silver Gold Washed Cuff Bracelets (One With Three Topaz) By Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Textiles By Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Handbags and Hand Dyed Scarves By Jenne Rayburn

Handcrafted Jewelry By Jenne RayburnHandcrafted Jewelry By Jenne Rayburn

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