Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Horse Hair Jewellery

Traditionally horse hair jewellery has been associated with the braiding of horse hair into patterns, commonly made to form bracelets. Beading, ribbons or other embellishments are also incorporated with the hair to further personalise the item of jewellery. There is some speculation as to the history of this art form, some suggest that it dates back to 8th century Spain and there has also been evidence throughout history including Cowboys, Indians and even prison inmates during the mid-1800s used to pass the time braiding horse hair.

Braided Horse hair bracelet - Horse hair jewellery
Braided horse hair bracelet


Horse hair jewellery has great sentimental value to its owner and is often worn in remembrance to a horse that has sadly passed on. You can find some great examples of braided horse hair jewellery HERE.

In January 2010 I made my first piece of horse hair jewellery by incorporating the hair into a resin pendant for a friend. Since that first pendant I have made many items of jewellery containing horse and pony hair so that the owners can carry a piece of their treasured friend.

There have been the colourful...

Horse hair pendant / necklace
Horse hair pendant 


There have been the unusual...

Personalised horse hair necklace
Personalised horse hair necklace


...and everything from cufflinks, pendants, bracelets, key rings, brooches and stock pins containing horse’s hair.


Horse hair bracelet
Horse hair bracelet

The main advantage that this style of horse hair jewellery has over the traditional braided form of jewellery is that very little hair is required. I have in fact made pendants in the past containing literally one or two strands of hair that had been discovered on a grooming brush after a horse had unfortunately passed on.

Another advantage is that the horse hair is encased within resin and therefore is not exposed to the touch. Lots of beautiful effects can be created with the hair and other objects or colours included to further personalise the items of jewellery.

Horse hair necklace and forget me not flower
Horse hair necklace and forget me not flower


So there is my take on a traditional form of jewellery that has been given my Shpangle approach. Almost every order I receive for horse hair jewellery is different to the last and most new requests ask for something that little bit different. I originally used the glass vials below as pendants and charms for my name on rice jewellery, however recently a customer requested one to hold a small amount of her horses hair. Isn’t it also funny how things evolve from one craft to another?

Glass horse hair necklace
Glass horse hair necklace


If you would like to see previous commissions of horse hair jewellery that I have made for people please click HERE.

Mick

2 comments:

  1. Some great examples on the braided jewellery link, loved the earrings. As you say though, I would prefer the Shpangle style safely protected inside the resin.

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  2. Yes, Tail End Jewellery is brilliant isn't it, I would love to be able to braid hair like that but don't think I have the fingers for it!

    Mick

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