Friday, April 23, 2010

I want to be beautiful!

Jewelry,  in its most basic form,  has been seen since the dawn of of man's first use of tools and clothing.  Readily available natural materials used to make the first jewelry included animal teeth, bone, various types of shells, carved stone and wood. 

Jewelry, it is speculated,  started out as a functional item used to pin articles of clothing together and was later adapted to a purely aesthetic adornment.

Used as a symbol of wealth and/or status as well as to protect against harm, ward of evil, and heal ailments, jewelry was used to adorn nearly every part of the body and has been made out of almost every material known to mankind.

The earliest signs of metallurgy, using copper to make jewelry, were seen around 7,000 years ago.

Today jewelry is accepted as a  basic need of everyone's wardrobe whether man or woman and the giving and sharing of these baubles, a welcome gift.  The materials used in making fine jewelry have evolved over the years as has most everything else but the essence of adorning ourselves with bits and pieces of the earth to make us "Beautiful" has not.  Our ancient ancestors understood very early that a small dangling item attached to their body in one form or another was a symbol of something more than just adornment, it was a sign of life.

We attach sentiment to our trinkets, from whom they came, from what they are made of and how they are designed.  We secure these precious bits of earth and clay to our bodies in many ways, placing them securely on our fingers, toes, necks, ears and almost any body part we can find  hook to hold them.

Give a small child a loop of string and inadvertently it will find itself wrapped around their neck or a hand.  It is an instinct as old as mankind itself.

How the items are created has evolved into mass production on one end of the spectrum to individually made items.  Yet, the classical primitive works of arts our ancestors favored has never gone out of style.  They can be seen still in many pieces of fine jewelry.

As sophisticated as we have become, our baubles and beads are still earth bound.  We can brighten the colors or create a new color to some material by heat or cold,  we are even capable of mixing materials to create something different but the core value remains of our earth.  

It is yet impossible to lasso the moon and hang it around our necks, or to catch a star and have it twinkle at our ears.

As Mother's day approaches, it marks a time to remember someone we love very dearly.  After all,  mothers are also as ancient and basic as time itself.  A mother's smile is more precious than any jewel one can find on our planet, but wouldn't she look extra nice smiling with happiness  wearing some lovely adornment given her by her child?