Chaney Lore

26 Jun

For holidays and special occasions, we gather with family around the table and celebrate. Grandma dusts off her special china. Your feast is plated and served. You cut ever so gingerly into your turkey so as not to scratch the design. Your knife; however, has other plans and slightly screeches across the blue china design. Grandma gives you a side-eye glare. At this point, you switch to your fork and test the mystery casserole. Then you hear your carefree, clumsy sibling carrying on about something in the kitchen followed by a calamitous crash. The air in the room depletes and an awkward silence fills the room. You notice Grandma’s left temple pulsing furiously paired with her jaw firmly clamped, into a sour grin. This moment will forever be burned into that sensitive place in Grandma’s brain, a taboo moment preserved in the cobwebs of your family gatherings. You have an unspoken understanding among your family members as a result, do not go there and never repeat. Perhaps Grandma would be a little less sensitive with the knowledge that the broken china would one day be re-purposed, cherished, and adorned as jewelry, Chaney?

 

Here is some Chaney lore to satiate your curiosity…

  1. 1. Chaney are pieces of china from the 1750’s-1900’s found on the beaches and grounds of old Sugar Plantations. St. Croix thrived during this era with rum production and sugar trade. The island was divided into 200 plus estates with many cultivating sugar or contributing to rum production. Historically, after heavy rains or beach cruising, local children would find broken china treasures and they would round them out to use as play money in games. The name Chaney evolved from these childhood adventures combining the words china and money. Today artisans seek Chaney and hand craft them into wearable art.

 

  1. 2. Chaney can often be found on beaches or when snorkeling. It is believed that, during the 18th and 19th centuries, when new families were moving to island, they would pack themselves and their belongings on a ship. As their ship sailed into port, rough seas would often shift the cargo causing delicate items to break. In an event to avoid taxation, broken items would be thrown overboard before docking; thus, leaving little puzzle pieces of history for beach cruisers and snorkelers to find today.

 

  1. 3. A second theory for finding Chaney on beaches, is from shipwrecks and ocean tides. It has been reported that captains would use china or pottery in the bottom of the ship to help balance the weight. If the ship wrecked, then its contents would be strewn across the ocean floor and at the fate of the ocean tides.

 

  1. 4. On land, Chaney can also be discovered when walking around estates. The Chaney pieces are unearthed from their resting place of 200 years frequently after heavy rains or when a land is being excavated. On older plantations, you can often find Chaney outside the original kitchen window. In the 1750’s-1900’s there was no trash collection. Trash was discarded in a pile outside the kitchen window. When that china plate broke, it was swept, tossed out the kitchen window, and preserved over generations in the ground for us to seek and bring back to life.

 

  1. 5. There are copious brands of china. English Transfer ware is most commonly found in St. Croix. The familiar blue designs set in the back drop of a Chinese landscape were mass produced as luxury dining ware in the 18th and 19th centuries. Mocha ware china, rare and highly lusted after today, has a much more interesting history. Mocha ware china was less desirable because of the china’s brownish earthy tones. Little time was dedicated to applying the design’s paint by hand. The paint was often stamped on, scratched with fingers, or brushed blending muddled colors into less desirable worm like, geometric, or modern designs. The pieces were often used in the back of kitchens, taverns or lower income households. The natural look of the Mocha ware makes it all that more desirable today. Rare whole pieces of the Mocha ware go for thousands of dollars in antique auctions. Unearthed shards found on St. Croix today are rare and worn as a status symbol. One era’s trash is this generation’s treasure.

 

In honor of Grandma, wear your Chaney well 🙂

 

                              

Shop ib designs Chaney

 

Do you know that…Your jewelry need-to-know’s

29 Jul

We would like to share with you a few things that will make your jewelry journey even easier.  Below is a list of our top five need-to-know tidbit’s!

1.) Do you ever wonder where that missing sock winds up? Have a rough night or hectic day and realize you are mysteriously missing one earring? Your heart sinks when you realize they are lost forever in the land where missing socks find their refuge. Rest easy, we will match your missing ib earrings for you! Bring your solo earring in with you and we will pair!  

2.) In the morning, do you rummage through your jewelry box looking for a nearly invisible earring back? When you find the back, it’s mismatching, but you’re in a rush so you pop it on and go. Now you have too many mismatching earring backs to count. Be calm, we sell Sterling Silver and 14kt Gold earring backs in small and large sizes! We also sell rubber stoppers so when you have that chaotic day, you can be preventative and secure your dangle earrings from wandering off your ears. 

3.) Hot date and need to clean your jewelry? OR too much fun last night and wake up to a broken bracelet? Stop in and we can pop your jewelry in our ultrasonic or repair for free! We will also polish and make your ib jewelry look brand new for a small fee. 

4.) Just got paid and it’s FRIDAY?! Sashay your way to ib! We have layaway! Where better to spend you hard earned dough than to place the pair of earrings you’ve been eyeing on lay

away?!

5.) Does your partner need help in the gift giving department? Direct them to ib for your “I’ve been a good girl” wish list! We are able to electronically save your must-have favorites. Check out or website to view our collections.

      http://www.ibdesignsvi.com/

 

 

ib Summer of LOVE

12 Jul

 

Have you ever found yourself in a funk or a brooding mood and you come across someone who greets you with a warm, genuine smile? Perhaps they hold the door for you or offer you a kind, simple gesture? A small act of love can change the course of your day. Love comes in many forms; romantic, family, friends, community, activities, or self. Love is infectious and ultimately has a great influence over our happiness.  When was the last time you laughed, I mean really belly laughed, and the people surrounding you joined in the laughter at your pure joy in the moment?  Laughter and Love reminds us that happiness is in our core and can be obtained with the simple act of spreading LOVE.

We are celebrating a Summer of LOVE! Inspired by the desire to help elevate our shared human vibration, we decided to launch our Summer of LOVE campaign. Love really can change the world. Let’s give it a whirl! Each Friday will be dedicated to our campaign. Come in to be our featured post and bring friends. Participants have the chance to win a $100 gift certificate. The more the merrier! For those that can’t come join us in person, share on your Facebook page and re-post on Instagram with hashtag #ibSummerofLove. We will pick a winner at the end of the month.

Our message is simply love one another. And remember you are LOVED!

 

 

 

Adventures of Charlie

10 Dec

The sun crests through the branches of my home. The night sky is glowing with the start of the new day. I hear the chatter of my brood stirring and the territorial call from my neighbor. “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO.” It sounds like Winston from Company Street. Over achiever, always has to sound the perfect first call. I stretch and sound the alarm, “Cock-a.” Still raspy. I think of my dear mother, who always told me just keep clucking and you will find your voice. She was a wise woman who was sadly taken from us by one of those rolling machines. Beware of the rolling metallic monsters! They never stop for my family or me. In fact, sometimes the machines speed up! But they, of course, stop on a dime for humans. Speaking of, here comes the first one of the day bobbing along under my tree. Time to start our daily search for food. “Cock-a.” Man, just keep trying I will get there.

I hop down from my tree and notice my clutch has gathered near the shiny cart on Queen Street. I shuffle my way down Strand Street and am enticed by the smell of FOOD. Food, “…doodle-doo.” I cross the street successfully and reach the sidewalk. I pick among the crumbs on the sidewalk when I see her. My Gertrude, shuffling proudly with our peeps in tow. I notice little Chik trails the rear of the line. As usual, Chik is one step out astray from the tidy line. Gertrude’s beak parts and she practically sings to me, “Good morning Charlie. Come on Chik fall in sync.”

Photo by, Nicole Canegata

I am instantly lured up the street towards her. Gertrude’s speckled brown beauty is radiant in the morning light and her ruffled plume is perfectly coiffed. I bow my wing closest to Gertrude as she approaches and begin to circle dance. We are deeply engaged in our courting before I am sharply drawn out of my trance to the sound of Winston barreling, “cock-a-doodle-doo” down the street.

Wait, this is my territory “cock-a-doo.” Still raspy.

Winston retorts in rapid succession, “cock-a-doodle-doo, cock-a-doodle-doo.”

He’s so cocky. Gertrude and the peeps gather around me. I square my chest up to set an example for my brood once and for all. This is my home, “cock-a-doo.” Suddenly, I am cut off by the sound of a screeching machine and to my surprise a human standing next to us hissing, “Shoo, shoo.” The machine wasn’t stopping for any of us “doodle-doo.”

We all dash up the sidewalk past the building with the plus sign and bells, where we come to rest in the bush. Gertrude is beside me clucking up a storm counting our peeps. She gasps, “Where’s Chik?” I panic “cock-a.” Chik must have gotten separated. Right at the moment when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse, I heard the growling. Dog. RUN. “A-doodle-doo.”

ib designsWe all get separated. I scurry further up the road. The dog lunges at my tail feathers and I dodge left onto Company Street. I hop, fly and find myself standing in front of a white door. The sign reads i.b. designs. My eyes wander up to the open window above. I fly and flap my way onto the sill. I pause to catch my breath and ease my panic “cluck, cluck, cluck.” As my clucks slow I look into the room from the window. It’s a workshop of some sort. I look further and I notice a human hunched, banging at shiny things with his claws. In fact, there are, a lot of shiny things glistening throughout the room. They are hung around the humans’ claws and ears. “Cluck, cluck.” The human turns in his chair and spots me. Oh boy, not again! The human doesn’t make any sudden moves. He reaches gingerly into a hidden space below him and pulls out something. I can’t quite make it out. C-O-R-N. Corn! FOOD! Food “cock-a-doodle.” He cautiously approaches me and pours a serving. The kind human slowly walks away and leaves me in peace. Ravenous from my traumatic day, I peck at the yellow morsels. Humans usually shoo my kind away. Maybe not all are as terrifying as I thought? Maybe this day will get better?

Too full to fly, I hop and soar down to the street. The dog is long gone and I determine it is safe to find Gertrude and shuffle home. I round the corner on Queen Street and I see her. My Gertrude, plume still perfectly coiffed leading our peeps in a tight line home. Chik is safely secured at the rear of the line in perfect formation with his siblings. I hustle to catch them. She smiles, “Hello Charlie”. Gertrude appears as relieved as I am to be heading home. We are paces from our territory when I hear the pretentious call “cock-a-doodle-doo.”

Winston. Enough. I about-face, square my shoulders, stand on the tips of my claws and bellow “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO.”

Winston stops dead in his approach. I repeat “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO.” Winston is cluckless. Gertrude snickers next to me and encourages us to continue home.

The night snuffs out the last bit of light as I nest in my branch. The brood is dozing safely beneath me. The day is done. I rest my beak on the leaves and reflect on my day’s journey. Sometimes a small act of kindness can be just enough to get you through your day. Acceptance inspired me with the hope and the courage to keep clucking. Strength allowed me to finally find my voice.

Written by,

Kimberly Hummers

Photography by,

Nicole Canegata