Posted by learntobead on February 13, 2013
Exhibit at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art
This exhibit displays the metal and stone-set jewelry of the nomadic Turkmen people of Central Asia.
Turkmen women’s jewelry consisted of headgear in the form of crowns, caps, headbands, and braid ornaments; pendants attached to headdresses and suspended on either side of the head; earrings; pectoral and dorsal ornaments; amulet holders; appliqués for clothing; armbands; and rings.
The exhibition is organized according to the principal techniques employed by Turkmen silversmiths. One grouping shows fire gilding, a technique in which gold filings—possibly obtained from coins—were combined with mercury in a paste that was brushed onto prepared silver; heat drove off the mercury, and the remaining gold was burnished to a brilliant sheen.
Other items feature stamped beading that was produced by stamping metal from behind to obtain the appearance of individual beads or granulation on the front.
A third section focuses on the inlay of carnelian and turquoise using bezels.
The fourth major technique— openwork decoration—involved the use of a chisel or fine fret saw to cut through silver sheets.
The surface decoration is typically represented by a repetition of objects or motifs — such as lozenges, squares, ovals and diamonds. There are style variations from tribal group to tribal group within this vast area the Turkmen people occupy.
I always like to get inspired by ethnic designs, ornamentation and construction techniques.