The Story Behind… The El Dorado Bangle

At This Material Culture we’re all about ideas, the bangle, necklace, earrings you buy weren’t churned out in a factory. Each piece has a story, a concept, and about 4 other earlier versions I decided weren’t good enough. I wanted to share the stories behind some of our pieces with you because we’re not a faceless company, we are two quirky, creative people with a passion for creating products that mean something (and are really pretty).

So the first Story Behind… is our El Dorado bangle. I thought this would be a good piece to start with because it’s one of the first that I made and it’s still one of my favourites.

I studied Archaeology and I’ve always been passionate about the ancient world, and things from the past. My particular interest was Material Culture (hence our name) which is the stuff of everyday life that archaeologists use to piece together what actual people’s lives were like thousands of years ago. I love the idea of El Dorado – the mythical emperor covered in gold dust, and the myths, ideas and rituals that surround it.

So how to put all that into a bangle? Well, I bought the gorgeous brass compass charms because I thought they were lovely, and there’s something quite South American about the shape and patterns, and they look so old and antique so I think they’re the perfect charm.el dorado globe

The colours? Well gold obviously has to feature heavily – which it does! But I’ve used earthy, bright colours like the dull red, silver lined orange beads, rich turquoise and some matte brown beads to really complement the gold and conjure up ideas of the ancient Andes and it’s amazing cultures. Looking at Aztec, Muisca and Inca art, textiles and artefacts for inspiration I think the coloured beads in the bangle really work.

So there, we go, that’s the story behind the El Dorado bangle, and what was going through my brain as I created it. I hope you like the piece, if you fancy owning your unique piece you can buy one here


What a Lovely Week!

Thought I’d give you all a little update on what’s been going on with us. We’ve had a few online orders which is awesome, and we’ve just finished a stunning bespoke necklace which is for a lovely customer’s daughter’s birthday.

I’ve been in touch with some fabulous bloggers who really like and get our brand which is so nice – here’s a few lovely things they’ve said –

“I really love the concept behind your business. I love hand-made jewellery and I love it even more that you are a husband and wife team – that is really lovely and special! ”

“I’ve had a browse of the This Material Culture site and I love it! It’s totally my style and I totally agree with your statement about jewellery having value without diamonds as I actually prefer more simple, quirky pieces”

“I took a look at the website, and your press release sounds SO exciting – I’m definitely attracted to the personal touch put into each piece, and the unique/quirky style from the whole collection!”

” I love your products and it looks like you put a lot of effort into your work”

“I am extremely passionate about supporting smaller brands, so your email just really resonated with me! (That, and your pieces are all so pretty!!)”

“I really like your take on jewellery. Knowing that an item has been lovingly handmade makes it so much more treasured than something mass produced on the high street.”all of my heart on illustration

It’s so great to have such amazing feedback about what we do at This Material Culture, we love hearing from you guys about which pieces you like, and we especially love hearing the reasons and stories about why our pieces connect with you.

So there we go, a lot of exciting things happening, so a big thank you from us for supporting our adventure and don’t forget that every piece is handmade, totally unique and designed with you in mind,

Have a great week,

Rebecca and Sam