History of Oh So Charming Art
In late 2006, I got a wild idea to host a charm swap with the theme of Found Obejcts, the charm had to be handmade by recycling something. I wanted the swap to include everyone who was interested and didn’t want to limit participation. I ended up with 111 participants from all over the world. When the charms started arriving I was completely overwhelmed, they were all so amazing and so creative. It was a huge task to trade out the charms, repackage, label and mail the 111 packages. I made 111 charms myself and so I traded with each and every participant, ending up with a collection of all of the charms. Those charms were placed on a tiered necklace – much too heavy to wear, although I have worn it a couple of times – it now is encased in a shadow box and is on display in my home.
After the Oh So Charming swap was completed I realized that there were many artists who loved creating these little pieces of art work as much as I do. I decided to start the Oh So Charming Yahoo Group which has now been in existence since 2008. The group has occassional charm swaps on a much smaller scale than the original. The swaps are limited to 25 participants but usually have around 10 participants and the themes vary. If you are interested in participating in a charm swap, send me an email for an invitation to the group and you can join in on the fun! My email is: ddsellers AT hotmail DOT com
What are Art Charms?
Charm bracelets carry charms or decorative trinkets that have personal meaning or signify important things in the wearer’s life. Originally charms were amulets to ward off evil or bad luck. They have also served as symbols of faith or identification. Some were worn for protection in battle or to represent family origin, religion or political conviction. The earliest charms would have been made from clay, bone, and shell.
Charms as the subject of trends: Queen Victoria wore charm bracelets and being the trendsetter that she was, started a fashion among the European noble class. Soldiers in WWII brought home trinkets, now called ‘Sweetheart Charms’ to their loved ones as souvenirs made by local craftsmen in the areas where they were fighting. During the 1950’s and 1960’s charms were popular with teenagers who collected them to record important events in their lives. Charms have always been collected as travel souvenirs and it is a treasure to find a vintage charm bracelet filled with charms from various states or countries.
Most recently, in the art world, handmade charms have become a method of trading art work. Typically based on a theme charms are handmade from various materials, some of which were originally used (clay, shell and bone) but also paper, beads, wood, resin, found objects, wire, metal, really anything you can imagine. Charms are then traded and most commonly worn either dandling from a bracelet or a necklace.
The charms this site focuses may be known by various names but we call them art charms. They are handmade, usually less than 1” in size with a loop for attaching a jump ring so that they can be dangled from a bracelet. Made from many different types of materials, art charms are more than a few beads dangled on a piece of wire. Some are incredible works of art. Charms are made to signify important places, events and time periods. They continue to be representative of faith, luck, and significance in the wearer’s life. Be sure to visit the charm gallery to see a selection of handmade art charms.