The theme for the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 this week is 'Something to Talk About'. I recently saw the movie "Black Swan". Everyone I know who has seen the movie wants to have a lengthy, lively discussion about it. Most of our discussions center around the human struggle to overcome the black/dark/evil that can surface in any of us. The topic strikes many different chords in people: nature vs. nurture, religion, mental illness etc... I enjoyed the movie and the resulting conversations with friends about its meaning. I wanted to create a piece that represents the good & dark sides of the human spirit, with the good rising above the dark.
The stones in this pendant are a white Rainbow Moonstone and a Psilomelene (Black Hematite). I did a lot of sketches for this piece before deciding on a final version. Even the final version changed a bit as I went about creating it. The black hematite stone has some pretty rings of metallic color at the wider end. The rings looks like a ripple effect in water. I chose to put that part at the top of this section of the piece to signify the goodness struggling and rising out of the darkness, up towards the white/good stone. I've surrounded the black stone with a feathered edge, then added a second back plate so the feather edges wouldn't rub against the wearer or snag clothing. I've extensively sanded all the edges to a very smooth finish and oxidized the piece to accentuate the design.
The white rainbow moonstone glows when the light hits it and I think it beautifully represents the our good side. I've added petals (or wings) to signify human goodness rising above the darkness.
Technically, this pendant was a bit more complicated than most of the jewelry I create. Each section involved several extra soldering steps and required careful planning so that none of the early solder seams came undone in that later steps. I'm quite pleased with the results.
The weekly YOJ theme, planning and execution processes have all been fun for me this week. I'm so glad I decided to join the Year of Jewelry Project this year. I'm challenging myself as an artist in ways I probably would not have done without the commitment of the YOJ project.
Here are a few more photos. I find it challenging to photograph dark stones - every bit of light reflects off of them. Thank goodness my jewelry skills are better than my photography skills!