Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Wearing of the Green in an Irish Leather Bracelet Design

four leaf clover
              Four leaf clover photo by Yan Ming on Unsplash

In addition to making jewelry and cards, genealogy is one of my hobbies. I have traced a line of ancestors to the Irish O'Hare's from County Armagh, Ireland.  O'Hare is one of the few surnames which resisted the general tendency in the 18th century to discard the 'O' in their name. Generally, the distinctive mark of an Irish surname is "Mac" or "O", according to the well-known lines.

By Mac and O
You'll always know
True Irishmen, they say;
But if they lack
Both O and Mac,
No Irishmen are they.

After the Anglo-Norman invasion, the names in use in Ireland were almost purely Gaelic; however, the English forced the Irish to adopt English surnames. Accordingly, it was enacted by the statute of Edward IV (1465), that every Irishman dwelling within the counties of Dublin, Meath, Louth and Kildare, should take an English surname. The Irish people were forced into adopting an an English version of their Irish surname, therefore many removed the 'Mac' or 'O' from their surname. However the O'Hare families did not drop the 'O', nor did they adopt an English version of their surnames. As a result, they had to endure extreme hardship and suffering because of such opposition. The creation of societies such as the Gaelic League in the late 19th century resulted in the widespread resumption of the 'Mac' and 'O' prefixes to many Irish surnames and a rebirth of Irish language and culture.

picture of shamrock
CC BY-SA 3.0,
The color green as well as the shamrock became the emblem of sympathy for Irish freedom and independence. The British killed those wearing green, which was certainly a drastic and uncalled for measure.

"O Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that's going round? The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground; St. Patrick's Day no more we'll keep, his colours can't be seen, For there's a bloody law against the wearing of the green ...."

There are other reasons this hue is linked to St. Patrick's Day. Another interesting Irish tidbit is found in Irish folklore. Wearing green makes a person invisible to leprechauns. If you are not wearing this color you will be pinched by one of these wee fellows.

green leather bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Wearing of the Green Bracelet by BayMoonDesign
Along with many Irish and non-Irish, I celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. I decided to make to make a leather bracelet for The Wearing of the Green. 
I created this multi strand green leather cord bracelet in olive, emerald and gold. This leather bracelet has multicolor genuine leather cords and gold plated findings. I added a unique Celtic charm that I made just for this bracelet.

Making bracelets can be a challenge due to the necessity to size the bracelet correctly which can range from easy to maddening. Personally, I love to have any quick easy design that allows for flexibility in length. The design I selected allows the bracelet to be adjustable. I knew that I wanted some great looking colored leather.
I remembered finding some beautiful orange leather from Plessmann Endless Leather when I made some cute leather bee bracelets. The reason I was drawn to this company is because I recalled their wide selection and large choice in  leather cords. They have more than 2000 different leather cords at wholesale prices online.

For my "Wearing of the Green Bracelet", I used the following:
olive 1mm round leather 1 meter in length
green 1mm round leather 1 meter in length
gold metallic round leather 1 meter in length
TierraCast Gold (plated) large classic hook clasp 32x16mm or something similar is necessary.  I had beads and gold findings on hand for the six dangles that go on the ends of the cords. I made the Celtic charm from the TierraCast Antique Gold (plated) Medium Celtic Diamond Bead 14mm with a crystal added to it.  I use this bead in many of my designs because it has the Celtic Triskele symbol

Celtic Triskele symbol
This Beadalon tutorial shows how to make this style of bracelet. The one challenge that I found was locating a bead with a large enough hole to allow the 6 strands of leather to pass through and at the same time compliment the components. 

I love that there is no limit to creativity with leather. Comments are welcome!
                                                                                  Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

No comments:

Post a Comment