|Existing Amber Necklace|
I have a friend who is a beader, and a jeweler, as well. Years ago, she spent time making wonderful clasps and pendants out of silver, bronze, and brass, cast from real natural leaves, acorns, and other tree bits.
During our last visit, she greatly admired my amber necklace, and I tried to give it to her, but she's slippery. Instead, she gave me a whole bunch of her cast clasps and pendants. I seem to remember her telling me this was so I could use them and she could see how they worked in actual necklaces, so I got the impression she'd not used her own clasps extensively.
|For My Friend|
These findings are substantial chunks of high-purity silver, and would probably cost upward of $200 in a store. The clasp itself is about 2 inches stem to tip, and slightly longer from side to side. The twig is about an inch and a quarter long. Solid silver. I could never afford to buy anything like this for my work, not unless I had a commission.
I knew all along that she was having some serious health issues, and after our last visit, I found out that these are worse than anyone knew. So I felt some urgency to make sure she knew how wonderful her work really is.
|Her Silver Leaf Clasp|
This is the resulting piece. I chose what I thought was one of the sweetest of the leaf clasps she gave me. The use of a real twig cast in silver as the toggle is genius. I tried to capture the detail properly in my pictures, up close you can see every vein in the leaf, every striation of the twig, they look absolutely true to life.
The braid is kumihimo in amber, yellow, and nickel-silver seed beads, the cones are sterling, and the fringes are made with genuine amber, citrine, and carnelian. At first, I wondered if using both silver and gold (and amber) in one piece would work, but thought that by scattering some silver throughout the whole piece, it would work out, and it did. Wonderfully. The leaf is stunning, though I suspect people are going to want to fondle it. I guess that's her problem.
After an absolute orgy of photography, and then computer work, I felt I had good documentation of the necklace, and sent it off a few days ago.
|Fringe & Clasp|
I'm happy to say she got it today and is very pleased. I hope the healing thoughts I put into the placement of every bead comfort her and do some good.