Friday, May 08, 2020

Ocean Spirit Necklace...

There are all these wonderful stories of mermaids and other mer-creatures hiding their souls in objects like shells. I imagine that if you could swim to the deepest depths of the ocean, you would have the most amazing shell collection! ⠀ ⠀

I’ve had this strand of shell beads for awhile now. Each bead is composed of two shells that were glued together and then drilled. They’re incredibly light and extremely fragile, but super lovely. What appealed to me the most was the intense purple color. They almost look like they could be carved from amethyst. I paired these shell beads with faceted amethyst rondelles from Africa. The amethyst from Africa is generally much darker and has a deeper grape color, more so than its Brazilian counterpart. To pull everything together, I used a seashell clasp made by my family at Green Girl Studios and is crafted out of shibuichi, which is a delightful alloy of copper and silver. Depending on how shibuichi is finished, it can look cherry red, buttery peach, earthy brown, or steely gray. I love this finish because it reminds of ancient coins. This is a relatively simple design, but I love the intense color and bigger proportions. It rests deliciously on the collarbone.
Sometimes when I’m designing, I want to throw the entire bag of tricks at it. I can’t help it. When I first started designing, I would try my hardest to come up with new looks and incorporate unconventional materials. I delighted in “discovering” new jewelry materials and using them in unexpected ways, different from the applications they were intended for. I did this a lot when I was designing for books or magazines. I was even featured in a book called, “Unexpected Findings”. A lot of those designs were really over the top. More was more. I had a lot of ideas and wanted to prove it. But eventually I reached a point where I started to really appreciate simplicity. Instead of me being at the center of the story, how about letting the materials do the talking? ⠀ ⠀
I circled back on stringing, where my love of jewelry making began. Designs like this are simple, but I think that’s okay. I still make big, over the top pieces but I also make projects like this. I think they have a quiet strength. If you listen closely, they’ll reveal their stories.

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