Cochineal

Red dye has been very rare to get from natural sources. Situation changed when Spanish brought cochineal scale insects and their host plant opuntia cacti from Mexico. Climate in the Canary islands was suitable for opuntia farming. Huge plantations were planted in to the drier islands. Nowadays most of them are abandoned.

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These scale insects produce large amounts of red and purplish red pigments.

I found several wild opuntia bushes when we were visiting Fuerteventura. These plants had cochineal bugs that I collected to take home. Most of these scale insects were dead and dry, but I think they will still give dye pigments. All bugs were dried before trip to home.

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Iron Age gown choker

Kaukola Kekomäki grave number 6 had large set of jewelry. There were pieces of choker that was made of linen covered birch bark and silver plaques. There were no remnants of any kind of clasp system, so choker was probably closed with strings. In this grave there was also pendant or amulet. It could have been hanging from choker.

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More pieces to European frog’s-bit silver jewellery set

Here are new rings and earrings to frog´s-bit jewellery series that has been published here. Jewellery has been made out of sterling silver sheet. Stamen parts are gilded silver.

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Rock crystal amulet Masku style

This kind of rock crystal amulets have been found from Finland and Sweden. In Masku graveyard there has been found 2 similar pendants and in Sweden Vikings had similar items. This pendant has wire decorations and small silver balls inside scrolls of wire.

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Roman coin silver ring

This Roman copper coin was made of small every day purchases. It´s monetary value was small and they were minted in huge quantities. These coins exists today still in large quantities so the coin is not rare at all. So I could make it in to a ring without feeling too sorry for its destiny. Coin is not soldered in place and it can be released by just turning its holding claws outwards.

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