Friday, 28 May 2010

Lucky Fridays? Island Flower necklace

So, last Friday I got an e-mail saying I'd won a candy giveaway. 1 kg (6 bags) of Gott & Blandat Sötsur, which I got yesterday. Today I opened my mail in the afternoon to find an e-card fron Rings & Things saying my Island Flowers necklace above was on of Polly's Picks in their Your Designs Rock Contest. That is, not an official prize winner, but I still get a (much appreciated) $50 gift certificate.

Polly's Picks are defined as "designs our editor especially likes despite the fact that they did not win a formal prize. These designs are often simple, practical and/or whimsical examples of how to use Rings & Things components well." This is the second time one of my entries have received this honour. In 2007, the first year I made something for this contest, my Oak Island jewellery set was picked.

This is a slightly different piece of jewellery compared to what I usually make. Flowers is nothing unusual, but the size and chosen material is. Also, to work with the larger focal piece, the necklace is somewhat longer than the princess lenght I mostly seem to prefer. Instead of taking inspiration from nature in my surroundings, this was a necklace that had me thinking of tropical islands with white shells in the sand by the beaches and brown coconuts in palm trees.

I made the flowers from shiny cowrie/cowry shells with the backs cut off, which made them easy to weave together using 20 G vintage bronze wire (coloured copper). I got the inspiration partially from those shell motifs with embroidery floss and an occasional bead that you can buy for embellishing clothing and bags, but instead of gluing the shells to a backing material, I chose wirework. Three flowers are wrapped together to make a larger focal piece (approx. 13cm measured from side to side). The focal piece is suspended using dark brown cotton cord that has been folded in half and slightly twisted to hold the two cords together (held in place by 'messy-style' wire wraps). To it has been added two pairs of 'leaves,' also wrapped with the same wire.

The necklace started out consisting of just one flower, but I felt I wanted to make something larger. (Not just because it was for an American contest.) So it became three flowers. The leaves might be a bit redundant, but I wanted to make something with a bit more embellishments than the usual 'Scandinavian minimalism' I so often lean towards in my designs.

The difficult part of this necklace was finding a matching clasp. I figured it best to make my own using the 20 G wire. But why make an ordinary hook-and-eye closure?, I thought, seeing a pair of small cowrie shells with large openings. So I attached the hook to one shell and used the other shell instead of an eye loop.

Your can find my necklace here in the R&T gallery where you also find all the winners and other Polly's Picks.


  1. Congratulations, Kristina, for yet another well-deserved honor! And thanks for sharing how to make this necklace, it's a lot of fun :)

    at Rings & Things

  2. Thanks, Dave! :)

    I always tend to encourage people to enter contests, even if they don't think they can win, because it's always so much fun to get a prize. Whether it's first prize or an honorable mention.

    I will, BTW, make more of those flowers. After I figured out how to make that first one, they were so easy to make. Not sure what to do with them, but I'm hoping the approaching summer will give me some inspiration.

  3. I really like this necklace. It makes me think of paradise islands, warm sands, tropical flowers and birds. And all that without the usual "tropical" colours. Your smart solution for the clasp is a perfect finish to a simple but eye catching piece.

  4. Lovely paradise island necklace. Anna


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