Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ha'penny Farthing & Discovering one's Heritage

So, this is the piece I created using the old coins I found in my Dad's things for the Artbeads Blogger Program.
I have some chain on order and I still need to make the bail but I'm really happy with how it turned out.  The thing I like about these challenges is that sometimes I need to use things I don't normally work with, in this case the brass components.  I was really drawn to the Antique Brass Altar link as it seemed to be already and waiting for a coin to slip in there, I just had to turn the loops 90 degrees.  It's fun because it moves...swings in the setting.
I knew I was going to need small beads for this one and I pretty much used size 15 seed beads exclusivley.

The pendant started some discussion and questioning....we couldn't remember if either of my grand mother's were born in the same year as the farthing was made 1904. After digging out old birth certificates we found it wasn't...maternal grandmother 1909, paternal grandmother 1902.
However...on looking at my paternal grandfather's birth certificate I discovered he had an unusual name for our family...Shem.  I'm still not sure where it came from but am now building a family tree on
Something very interesting to me about a great aunt I never knew, it seems that at age 17 she was a printer's compositor.  This was cool for me as when I was in art college studying Graphic Design I had to take a typesetting class and I amazed my instructor by setting type perfectly at my first attempt.  He told me he had been teaching for 20 years and this was a first for him. He and a couple of other college instructors/professors encouraged me to become a typographer as they thought I had a natural flair for it....and now I know where that came from.  The ability to read upside down and back to front came from my great Aunt Ada :)

So..this has already been one of the most interestimng challenges I've undertaken and I've learned quite a lot about my family and heritage in the process.

Artbeads send me beads and things from time to time so I can play with them and give an honest opinion of the products. I am not reimbursed for this opinion.


  1. Fabulous idea and how nice to get some family tree info as a side benefit!

  2. LOVE this idea! Beautiful work. :-)

  3. Beautiful piece, and a wonderful story to go along with it.

  4. That is a beautiful piece- it fits together perfectly, has a great overall shape, and the colors faultlessly match and enhance the coins.

    I would love to see the back- is it reversible?

  5. KJ, it would be reversible if the Altar component at the top was :( The 'heads' side of the coins are as visible as the 'tails' side :)

  6. Love this piece--it's beautiful! I have an Irish harp coin that I'd love to do something with. I didn't see the altar link when I was looking for my items, but I would love to use it in a future piece. It's interesting that your piece swings in the setting, because one of the pieces I'm working on for this challenge does that--I made the setting out of copper wire.


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