The Cappadocia area in Turkey is known for its unique moon-like topography, straight out of a fantasy novel. This ancient landscape consists of underground cities, cave churches and houses carved in the rocks. A millennia ago, people realized they could utilize the soft stone formations to seek shelter underground for a fascinating troglodyte-style architectural phenomenon. The actual landscape is eroded from wind and rain formed from layers of volcanic ash called tuff. Today, the Goreme National Park in Cappadocia, Turkey has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While there are still museums, some churches and even some homes still existing here, you can actually stay in a cave hotel on this site that would be pretty cool! It is like nothing else on this planet.
The beauty of this hot, arid landscape in Turkey comes from the rich layers of earth that you see on the surrounding hills. The striations of rock add subtle color to an almost neutral landscape. Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring! The undulating hills provide plenty of texture. But it is those jutting rock formations that dot the landscape which really make a statement. These whimsical structures are formed from a geological oddity.
These rock formations are referred to as ‘fairy chimneys’ which is quite a charming name for them! They are also known as tent rocks, earth pyramids or hoodoos. Hoodoos are formed when soft sedimentary rock is topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They are found in desert regions and sometimes pushed into the landscape by volcanic eruptions. I find it quite easy to look at this vista and believe that magical beings live there!
One of the most unique ways to appreciate this landscape is by hot air balloon rides. I can just imagine what a view there is above this fairytale landscape! It would look as if it were a kingdom from another planet populated by mystical creatures and wizards and fairies. It truly is a magical place.
The beads that I chose for the Pretty Palettes August Inspiration are meant to pull out the subtle neutral tones of beige, cream, brown with touches of copper. Since I wasn’t adding in any strong colors, I wanted to focus on the textures of the beads themselves, and also things that would fit right into this ancient, idyllic landscape. Carved beads that look as if they were from the fairy chimney rocks, lava for the rough texture, twine wrapped large rounds, irregular shell spacers, the soft sheen of the copper spacers and a little bit of flash with the glass rounds for a bit of bling.
Beads selected from Michaels L to R:
93915 – amber mix shell 6mm spacer rondelle
93870 – copper mix rings 10mm
94011 – soapstone amber 8mm carved rounds
93076 – brown lava 8mm rounds
82767 – twine acrylic large rounds
94978 – amber glass shiny 12mm rounds
My Pretty Palettes partner for August is: Claire Lockwood.
Claire is an artist across the pond in the United Kingdom. I have always loved her eclectic style and her ability to pair up amazingly rustic beads into pieces that look at once ancient as they do modern. Claire also creates ceramic beads that look as if they could have been dug up in just such a landscape, so I knew that this would be the perfect inspiration for her! Please check out her blog and shops and be sure to come back on August 26th to see what we made!