Monday, October 7, 2013

Saami Handcraft ------ Pewter Jewelry

The Saami are an indigenous people of northern Scandinavia that have lived in the harsh conditions of the Arctic since prehistoric time. Historically, their handcrafts have been intended first and foremost to serve a purpose rather than being primarily decorative. Men have mostly used wood, bone, and antlers to make items such as antler-handled scrimshawed sami knivesdrums, and guksi (burl cups). Women have used leather and roots to make items such as gákti (clothing), and birch- and spruce-root woven baskets.  Functional, however, does not mean plain. In the process of creating their goods, the Saami developed a pewter thread which they used for decoration on their works.

Enter, Erika Honig, an artist who grew up in northern Sweden. She combines the same pewter thread with soft, lush reindeer hide to create the most amazing jewelry designs. While on my trip to the Arctic in northern Norway last June, I was able to view some of her jewelry and brought home a necklace. 


Erika describes her jewelry as a 'combination of rustic Nordic handcraft and modern simplicity.' I think it is just beautiful. Hope that you will check out her website - her bracelets are unbelievable!

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