My Jewelry Inspirations: Olive Trees of the Mediterranean - Part 1
My jewelry is often times inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds me. Just like the Athena's Necklace that I will talk about shortly. I am so fortunate to be closely connected to the Mediterranean, the ancient and beautiful sea that have nourished many civilizations with its rich resources. I always explore unique ways to incorporate the history and natural beauty of the Mediterranean into my handmade Sterling silver jewelry. This way others can also connect with the culture here and perhaps one day explore the Mediterranean in person.
Many times I have made raw Sterling silver turn into leaves and branches of the ancient trees that surround me. The colorful gemstones turn into fruits that they bear. Forms and lines are reshaped in my mind, sometimes very life-like but most often in abstract forms. I recreate a representation of the natural beauty that surround me in my jewelry designs. These designs are a reflection of my memories, skill and experience. In this blog I would like to elaborate a bit more on this creative process.
Recently, I have been to Stratonikeia, an ancient city located at Yatagan, Turkey. The Carian city has a rich history that starts from the Seleucid Era. Seleucid King Antiochus I Soter founded this city and named it after his wife Stratonice, who was the daughter of the Macedon King Demetrius I. Interestingly Stratonice and Antiochus' son fell in love and eventually with King's permission they even married. So many interesting stories originate from this part of the world and from this region, it is quite unbelievable.
Anyway, I kind of got side tracked there with the history as usual but in fact I simply wanted to share with you the beauty of this ancient city I have seen several times. So here you go, a few photos that I have taken on site. These show olive groves, pomegranate, fig and other endemic trees that surround the beautiful ancient city. The sky was cloudy that day which resulted in really unique shots.
In case you are not familiar with what an olive branch and a tree look like in real life here are two nice photos. What a majestic tree, isn't it?
You may notice that there are more recent looking ruins. Those would correspond to houses of villagers that had to evacuate the area a few decades ago when government declared the area as a coal mine. Following that decision something else has happened. The city of Stratonikeia was discovered, mining has stopped and instead archaeologicalexcavations have begun.
As you may agree, all these natural beauties and especially the trees are truly inspiring. It is no surprise that a lot of my design features elements from these inspirations. For instance take a look at the Athena's Necklace I have designed and handmade a while ago. It is made out of Sterling silver as usual in the form of an olive branch which curves nicely around your neck to form an elegant choker necklace. The olive fruit is made out of hematite, which is dark & reflective and therefore suits the task perfectly. Please enjoy the photos of the photos of this necklace.
As you may already know olive tree, branch and fruit are commonly encountered elements in especially Greek Mythology. In fact in addition to mother nature inspiring me, father time whispers his stories in my ears from time to time. So here goes the story of the olive:
When King of Athens were presented with gifts from Poseidon and Athena he had a tough choice to make in terms of selecting the city’s protective deity. Poseidon, the God of Sea, granted Athenians the Aegean Sea by striking his trident on the ground and creating an ever flowing saltwater spring. Athena, the Goddess of wisdom and justice, has planted an Olive tree right by the Acropolis. The astute King has accepted Athena’s gift as he could see that the Olive Tree was the most precious and useful gift to the mankind. Through Athena’s blessing the olive tree set upon the Athenians health and prosperity. Athena’s Blessing necklace is inspired by this timeless myth. Elegantly crafted from Sterling Silver it is adorned with lifelike leaves, twigs and a plump olive of hematite gemstone. Its curves are masterfully created to caress your neck and complement your beauty with an ageless style.
This concludes another jewelry blog that I discuss my favorite designs. Soon I will be back to talk more about my designs that were inspired by nature. Goodbye and talk to you soon.