Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A necklace for Emmeline Pankhurst...

I've been giving the blog a little bit of a makeover lately and, as you might see, it's a bit of a work in progress so please bear with me if it suddenly looks different or things have been moved around!

How to make jewellery

Anyway, despite the changes, regular visitors to the blog will have already seen a couple of Suffragette inspired projects and with today being Emmeline Pankhurst's birthday I couldn't miss the chance to make a little something could I?!  

Emmeline was certainly a larger than life type character.  She was the founder of the Women's Political and Social Union (WPSU) and leader of the Suffragettes. Born in Manchester and married at 20 she felt very strongly that women should be given equal rights to vote but Parliament disagreed.  Many women supported her from a distance but were too frightened to join and get in trouble so often just wore a small badge or discreet piece of jewellery in the Suffragette flag colours of green, white & purple.

The campaigns got increasingly militant with lots of stone throwing, wire cutting, chaining to railings and worse. Emmeline was imprisoned many times, went on hunger strike and was force fed (a truly horrendous business).  Then came the start of WWI and a kind of truce was called.  As the war progressed women were increasingly needed to fill the gaps in jobs & industries as part of the war effort and eventually that led to an acceptance that they should be entitled to a more equal standing and be able to vote - the first ruling allowed women property owners over 30 to vote and eventually (sadly just after Emmeline's death)  an equal vote to over 21's regardless of gender or status. 

I think Emmeline deserves a little ongoing recognition for her core principals of equality so I've made a birthday tribute to here in the style of an early 1900's Suffragrette necklace - to make your own necklace you will need: 0.6mm gold plated wire, golden chain & various jump rings/eyepins/headpins, 2 x green czech crystals, 1 x small white freshwater pearl, 1 x small purple crystal heart, assorted pliers/cutters.

Begin by wiring up the two green crystals - thread them onto eye pins and make small loops on the opposite ends.
Suffragette jewellery

Then thread the crystal heart onto a bail or jump ring.
Emmeline Pankhurst jewellery

Thread the freshwater pearl onto a headpin and make a wrapped loop on the end (video for wrapped loops here). Then attach it to a small jump ring and add a further jump ring either side of that (so you have a 'chain' of 3 with the pearl in the middle).

Cut a piece of 0.6mm wire and use pliers to shape it as per the picture below (tip: begin by folding in half over your round nose pliers to make the central loop)
how to make a Suffragette Necklace

Use a small jump ring (or two) to attach the crystal heart to the loop in the middle of the wire shape..
making jewellery

Next,  attach the pearl to the centre of the wire by opening the small jump rings either side and closing them onto the 'frame' as shown below.. 

Attach one of the green crystals to one side of the wire frame with a jump ring and then use another to attach it to a piece of chain...
wirework necklace

Repeat on the other side then adjust the chain to your preferred length to finish off. The wire is fairly flexible so you can tweak the shape of the frame if you need to.
How to make a Suffragette Necklace

Happy Birthday Emmeline!

Hope that inspires you to make your own Suffragette style necklace. 

I'm pretty excited that there is a new film due for release later this year called 'Suffragette' starring the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan  & Meryl Streep amongst others *rubs hands with glee* so no doubt there'll be a few more Suffragette inspired projects sometime in the future ;-)

Happy Making !

All pictures & texts (c) Addicted to Making 2014

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