Tuesday, March 23, 2010

All for the Want of a Horseshoe Nail

"For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."

- Author unknown

I found this poem while looking up info on nails. It seems to sum up a lot of my crafting failures. :) Always in need of one part that you never can find when you need it, right?

I've hung on to many a jewelry tidbit over the years. And, someday I intend to make something out of each and every piece of it. Today, I made some progress. Have you ever seen the horseshoe nail jewelry that was just another short lived fad of the 70's? Many years ago, I acquired various horseshoe nails from a broken necklace (or bracelet). Well, I finally got inspired to do something with them when I came across a lovely pendant made of the same nails for less than $1 at our local flea market the other day. It was attached to a cheap boring chain that was not doing the beauty of the pendant any justice. So, I reconstructed all the pieces into this necklace/earring set:

Guess I'll never "want for a horseshoe nail" wearing this necklace and earring set! :)

I must mention that I also took inspiration from a site with some wonderful pieces at:

I stripped the nails of most the existing rings and beads and reshaped a few. Then, wrapped some groups together with wire similar to the existing pendant hanging down in the center. (The wire will eventually tarnish to look more like the pendant. I removed and replaced the draped portion that was originally attached from the pendant that didn't hang right to me. The bead, wire and clasp were reused from another necklace I picked up at a thrift store. I just love the look the nails give. To me, it is very tribal-looking and earthy. If I find anymore nails in my bargain hunting, I will probably be adding to the necklace to make it even more complex.

For those of you who are interested, I was not aware that horseshoes and their nail counterparts have been commonly used since 1000 A.D. Nails were even used on horseshoes well before 600 B.C.! The biggest change in the history of horseshoes was probably in the 1800's when mass production killed the 3000 year old tradition of making each nail by hand. Nowadays, the nails themselves seem only to vary slightly in size and shape for different riding surfaces (explaining the larger size square nail hanging at the bottom center of my necklace). You'll find more info on Horseshoe Nails by searching the internet.

Happy re-crafting!


mieljolie said...

If you're interested in acquiring some horseshoe nail jewelry, Bruce shared a link to his own designs at:


Go check it out!


PussDaddy said...

They are both nice. The necklace is much too ornate and large for my personal tastes. I love the earrings tho.


mieljolie said...

PD, I'd agree. This is definitely not a day wear piece. ;) It was made for a tribal-"styled" bellydance costume where the jewelry is rather large and ornate. It hangs a little low in the pic. I've shortened it since.

Thanks for commenting!