LECTURES & NADFAS

WHAT ARE ORGANIC GEM MATERIALS?

Organic gem materials are derived from plants or animals. The better known materials include amber, copal, jet, bone, antler, ivories, horn, tortoiseshell, corals, pearls, and shells. Of the lesser known may be mentioned baleen, coconut shell, feathers, seeds, and indeed anything that can be used for decorative purposes, and that has at some time been produced by a living organism.

The first jewellery to be used by mankind was made from organic materials. Necklaces were made of seeds, shells or teeth, depending on what was available. Head-dresses were often made of feathers, shells and horn.

Organics have been used for their talismanic properties, to bring luck or to ward off evil. They have been used for utilitarian items, for example primitive scoops and cutting implements made thousands of years ago from shell, or antlers used as pick-axes. In the decorative arts they have been carved, used as jewellery, or used to embellish furniture.

Organic gem materials can be seen in museums world-wide. Or in a drawer at home!

The popularity of the materials has meant that some of the species from which they are gathered have been hunted almost to extinction. Their popularity has also meant that they have all been copied and faked in various materials, especially in plastics.


 

 

LECTURES

 

Lectures give an introduction to the different organic gem materials and their various uses, from thousands of years ago to the present day.  Mention is made of their origins, possible trade bans, and how to identify some fakes.

All Lectures are richly illustrated by a digital slide show of high quality photographs.

 

STUDY DAYS  &  DAYS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

A Study Day or Day of Special Interest enables us to consider the gem materials in more depth.  As with a Lecture

we consider the origins of the different organics, some of the current trade bans, and how to recognise ‘the real thing’ from fakes.

Study Days are for the smaller audience (max. 35 people).  It is partly ‘hands-on’  and participants are encouraged to bring items for examination and discussion.

According to requirements, two or three digital slide presentations of high quality photographs accompany the talks.

 

 

NOTE  All Lectures, Days of Special Interest and Study Days are tailor-made for the individual group or society.  Where requested, they can concentrate on one aspect of organic gems, or on a single gem type (such as amber), or be fitted to a theme being employed by a society (e.g. The Far East, the Seventeenth Century, etc.)

The titles of lectures, days of special interest and study days are also totally flexible.  Those given in the NADFAS Directory are simply intended as a suggestion. They include:

'An Introduction to Organic Gem Materials – Amber, Ivory and Others'

'Amber – Past Uses and Present Fakes'

'Ivory and Tortoiseshell – Past Uses and Present Bans'

'A Dewdrop from Heaven – Pearls and Shells'

'Feathers, Horns, and Turtle Shells '

'The Lure of Ivory'

'From Frozen Forests to Reindeer – Gems from Life' (Christmas Lecture)

Click HERE for Lecture and Study Day synopses.

For information on NADFAS (the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies) , please follow the link: www.nadfas.org.uk

Copyright  2007  Maggie Campbell Pedersen.  All rights reserved.

LECTURES & THE ARTS SOCIETY

THE SUBJECT: ORGANIC GEM MATERIALS

Organic gem materials are derived from plants or animals. The better known materials include amber, copal, jet, bone, antler, ivories, horn, tortoiseshell, corals, pearls, and shells. Of the lesser known may be mentioned baleen, coconut shell, feathers, seeds, and indeed anything that can be used for decorative purposes, and that has at some time been produced by a living organism.

The first jewellery to be used by mankind was made from organic materials. Necklaces were made of seeds, shells or teeth, depending on what was available. Head-dresses were often made of feathers, shells and horn.

Organics have been used for their talismanic properties, to bring luck or to ward off evil. They have been used for utilitarian items, for example primitive scoops and cutting implements made thousands of years ago from shell, or antlers used as pick-axes. In the decorative arts they have been carved, used as jewellery, or used to embellish furniture.

Organic gem materials can be seen in museums world-wide. Or in a drawer at home!

The popularity of the materials has meant that some of the species from which they are gathered have been hunted almost to extinction. Their popularity has also meant that they have all been copied and faked in various materials, especially in plastics.

LECTURES

 

Lectures give an introduction to the different organic gem materials and their various uses, from thousands of years ago to the present day.  Mention is made of their origins, possible trade bans, and how to identify some fakes.

All Lectures are richly illustrated by a digital slide show of high quality photographs.

STUDY DAYS  &  DAYS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

A Study Day or Day of Special Interest enables us to consider the gem materials in more depth.  As with a Lecture

we consider the origins of the different organics, some of the current trade bans, and how to recognise ‘the real thing’ from fakes.

Study Days are for the smaller audience (max. 35 people).  It is partly ‘hands-on’  and participants are encouraged to bring items for examination and discussion.

According to requirements, two or three digital slide presentations of high quality photographs accompany the talks.

NOTE  All Lectures, Days of Special Interest and Study Days are tailor-made for the individual group or society.  Where requested, they can concentrate on one aspect of organic gems, or on a single gem type (such as amber), or be fitted to a theme being employed by a society (e.g. The Far East, the Seventeenth Century, etc.)

The titles of lectures, days of special interest and study days are also totally flexible.  Those given in the NADFAS Directory are simply intended as a suggestion. They include:

'An Introduction to Organic Gem Materials – Amber, Ivory and Others'

'Amber – Past Uses and Present Fakes'

'Ivory and Tortoiseshell – Past Uses and Present Bans'

'A Dewdrop from Heaven – Pearls and Shells'

'Feathers, Horns, and Turtle Shells '

'The Lure of Ivory'

'From Frozen Forests to Reindeer – Gems from Life' (Christmas Lecture)

​​

Click HERE for Lecture and Study Day synopses.

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For information on The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS), please follow the link: https://theartssociety.org/  

©2017  Maggie Campbell Pedersen.  All rights reserved.