Squash Blossom Necklaces

coral squashblossoms

Last week, Mr. Andrew and I went to a lecture about collecting at the Design Exchange. It was a very entertaining and thought=provoking evening that got me to thinking about my various collections and how they came to be. So this week I’m going to have a look at the state of my collections, starting with my penchant for Southwestern jewellery, specifically squash blossom necklaces.

First of all, the psychology. I’m a show off and am attracted to all things that are well-made with bold designs. And when I was a kid my dad wanted us to have some connection to the First Nations part of our ancestry. We would visit Six Nations, Kettle Point (where I bought a silver turtle ring when I was like 10) and Saugeen First Nation. Sometimes at Pow Wows or the hippie craft shows, you would have artisans from the US selling handmade southwestern-style jewellery. And I liked listening to the makers talk about the stories behind the jewellery. And at Pow Wows, when you see the jewels along with all of the regalia it’s just amazing!

Most of the Southwestern style jewellery that makes its way into Canada is usually earrings and rings and fetish necklaces. Most of these were probably picked up by tourists because they are more portable and less expensive. Most of the jewels I have were picked up at thrift shops or yard sales. I don’t know when Squash Blossom necklaces came on my radar — probably while researching some other piece. But once I discovered them, I really, really had to have one. It took years for me to find a Squash Blossom necklace that I could afford. And then one wasn’t enough. I bought the coin silver and coral necklace pictured above on eBay for a song. The naja and squash blossoms are hand-made, the beads mass-produced, hence the super affordable price. It will be my everyday squash blossom necklace and has already passed a rigorous work out from my friend Ariel’s baby.

My first Squash Blossom is still my finest jewel. And it broke. I was going to have it professionally repaired, but I consulted with the lady at the bead store and she assured me that I could restring it securely myself. So I fixed it last Saturday.

turquoise squashblossom

Will two be enough? I’m not so sure — I just saw an amazing picture on Pinterest of a woman wearing three.