Glamorosi Entry for the "Tea as Art" Contest Sponsored by Verdant Tea

For the Tea as Art contest sponsored by Verdant Tea participants were asked to create a piece inspired by their Hand Picked Spring 2011 Tieguanyin Oolong (Iron Goddess of Mercy).

As I sipped the highly fragrant tea (it's heavenly, it smells like honeysuckle) a few of the words that came to mind were "refined" and "lovely". I was impressed by how delectable it was even after multiple infusions, which made me think of the words "strength" and "longevity".

To commemorate this hand picked tea I designed a chainmaille bracelet that is both elegant and durable. Just like growing and preparing tea, chainmaille is an ancient art. To represent part of the process used to make oolong tea I chose bronze, a metal that becomes even more beautiful as it oxidizes. To indicate the Tieguanyin Oolong's distinct color I used green aventurine stone beads from China. I hand wove a total of 645 rings - opening and closing them one by one - to make the bracelet. It is finished with a lobster claw clasp and a green aventurine leaf, and it is 7.75 inches long.

It took me about a week to design and construct my Oolong Bracelet. Even though the idea for the piece came to me quickly, I spent a great deal of time doing research to make sure my concept made sense. I read about China and the goddess Guan Yin and looked at pictures of statues of her to make sure bronze was appropriate. It turns out many Chinese artists used bronze to depict Guan Yin (the term "Iron Goddess" refers to the weight of the tea leaves, not her composition).

Verdant Tea will announce two winners on or around Sunday, September 4, 2011. One winner will be chosen by the staff to receive a $100 shopping spree on the site. A second winner will be chosen by popular vote and will receive five ounces of tea.

This is my first bona fide art competition, unless you count that in 4th and 5th grade I won a few awards for my drawings and paintings. I'd be honored to win a prize for this bracelet, but please don't vote for me out of friendship or loyalty, only vote for me if you truly like my entry the best.

To see all of the entries and vote for your favorite click here.
I'll post an update after the winners are chosen.

P.S. If you click on the photo it gets bigger so you can see all of the detail. It's much larger on the Verdant Tea website too.

To read more posts about food, tea, fashion, gardening and events:

***UPDATE: I won first place! Read about it HERE.

♥ ♥ ♥