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How nature inspires my jewelry designs

I am a self confessed nature lover. I love hiking, being in the woods, being on a beach collecting pebbles and sea glass, kayaking in the Puget Sound or on a lake, admiring the growth of plants in the forest and seeing the bloom of flowers in our garden.

This is Tolmie State Park in Olympia and it is fabulous for having a picnic at, kayaking, finding sand dollars, oyster shells etc.

How does this love of nature inspire my work as a jewelry artist? A little while ago, I was at the beach above for a picnic, and since the tide was out, I was hunting for pebbles as I usually do when on one of the beaches of the Puget Sound. As I was making my way across the beach, I came across a few dried and cleaned out oyster shells, so I started to admire the structure and shape of each of them (I need to explain here that Olympia is well known for its oysters and that there is a huge shell fish industry in this area.)

Empty oyster shells on the beach at Tolmie State Park.

Anyway, I loved the way the different oyster shells that I picked up were slightly different in shape from each other and I thought that this would make a great pendant design.

My sketch of the new pendant design.

I came home and started to play around with designs and came up with my “Olympia Oyster” pendant with a Puget Sound Pebble as its feature. The final design has an outer hammered and hand forged sterling silver outer layer for the oyster shape and an inner layer that is just polished and indicates the layering of an oyster shell. Being a somewhat minimalist design, I really like these on a leather style necklace, but they look equally stunning on a sterling chain. These designs are proving quite popular and usually sell quickly when they are at a local gallery or when I'm at a show.

Oyster pendant with gray pebble in hand forged and hammered sterling silver setting.

Black pebble in oyster style pendant. Now you can see how these pendants are uniquely their own design each time I make them.

Two distinctly different looking oyster style pendants. Kind of looking like eyes.

Sometimes getting good photos of the jewelry that I make can feel so serious. Is the lighting right, have you placed it with something appropriate, is it aesthetically pleasing etc.? After placing these two pendants into the oyster shell I thought they looked like the eyes of a poodle especially with the textured edge of the oyster, so I decided to have fun with it and add a pebble nose. It made my day so much more enjoyable.

To shop for this new style pendant, head here

#abouttheartist #jewelrymaking #nature #beachcombing

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