Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sea Talisman necklace

A week or so ago, I created a cross in silver clay for a commissioned rosary. I had leftover clay that I didn't want to waste -- It's way too expensive. So I made these charms, it being summer and my mind inevitably being drawn to the sea.

I pressed a tiny starfish into the largest charm, and then cut a star from more clay and textured it to resemble a starfish. I stamped the word "sea" into the smallest round charm, to remind me of my inspiration -- the place that I always want to be.

Silver charms belong in a piece of jewelry, all the better to wear them and admire their sparkle. So on my very messy worktable, I piled beads in every color of the sea -- gemstones, pearls, and Swarovski crystals --

and began putting them together.

At first I thought a strand of labradorite, with its flashes of blue, would be perfect to offset a huge, gorgeous chunk of faceted moonstone that I bought in Austin where I was there last. I used copper wire (before committing to expensive silver wire) to work out my ideas for a charm holder to attach the charms to the necklace.

Fiddling with another tiny charm and some copper wire, I decided that crystals would add weight and sparkle to the charms, and that wire shaped like tendrils would add even more interest.

I shaped a charm holder from sterling silver wire, and attached the charms -- now accented with beads -- to it like so:

The labradorite beads that I first admired, now seemed too dark and too brown. I wanted more ocean colors, so I stranded together tiny Swarovski crystals -- opal ones and transparent ones. I like the effect. This faceted moonstone has such fire, and Bali silver beads set it off just right.

I combined gemstones, pearls, crystals, and Bali silver beads to create more links for the necklace

and added a double strand of sea-blue freshwater pearls accented with round moonstones, aquamarine barrels, and a few labradorite spacers with the bluest fire.

Here's how it looks on my mannequin (the only model who doesn't complain about how long it takes me to snap a photo!):

I'm not quite satisfied, though. The necklace needs a few more bead links, so it can be worn long, as a talisman necklace, or wrapped twice around at collarbone length, like so:

I'll post a photo when it's finished!

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