I thought I’d use this blog to give you a look behind the scenes at the latest project I’ve just completed and share some interesting facts about the materials that I have been working with.
What does the design stage entail?
I was commissioned to design and make a pearl necklace recently for a very fun project. I have been collaborating with some other creatives for an important and fun event. (More about this in future blogs) I went into my little workshop with my sketch pad, pencil and decided to draw up some designs. When designing any jewellery its all about ensuring that the materials you are working with contrast. I find that sometimes less is more and the most simple designs are the most effective. The design stage can take me longer than actually making the finished product. Four hours later I finally came up with the design that I knew would look beautiful on the eye as well as feel wonderful to wear.
I wanted something simple, timeless, elegant and classic too that would compliment the attire and not upstage the dress. But most of all I wanted to create something that would make the wearer feel feminine and like a million dollars.
(This is me putting the necklace together.)
Pearls are a pleasure to work with. There is something magical about them (maybe because they are natures gifts.) I’m very kinase-tic and I love the feel of them. Most of us girls love them and apart from diamonds I would say that they are a girls best friend too. We love them, drape ourselves from head to toe in them but how much do you really know about them.
Here’s top 9 facts about Pearls.
- Pearls are the only jewels that are created by a living animal.
- A pearl is an irritant to the mollusk. It often starts out as a parasite or shell. To ease the irritant the mollusk secrets a smooth crystalline substance to protect itself which is called nacre. Over time this builds up and give us what we know as a pearl!
- Cultured pearls that are harvested from mollusks can be re-instilled to create pearls without killing the oysters.
- The earliest records that we have of pearls being used as precious objects are artifacts from Mesopotamia dated to around 2,300 B.C.
- One of the most famous pearls is called La Peregrina. This is Spanish for ‘the incomparable’) This 500 year old lustrous orb is pear shaped and the size of a pigeon egg. Its previous owners include Napoleon Bonaparte and Elizabeth Taylor.
- The beautiful jewels get their distinctive colours from the inner elements of the shells. The colours range from white and ivory to pink, purple and even gold.
- In 1916, Jacques Cartier, who was one of the world’s most famous jewelers was able to purchase his 5th avenue store by trading just two of his pearl necklaces in exchange for that plot.
- Every pearl has imperfections and has its own characteristics.
- Salt water pearls (known as Akoya pearls) are extracted from oysters where as freshwater pearls are collected from mussels. All mollusks are capable of creating pearls.
One of the most interesting things about working in my line of work is finding out about the facts and history behind the materials that I work with.
I have two more big fun projects (I’ve been commissioned to do so for now its back to drawing board as they say!