Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Coral Collection

For a while, I was making jewelry with red branch coral. My sister wanted some custom pieces done, and sent me some coral - too much coral! :) It had been sitting around for quite a while, and I wanted to pair it up with something different, but nothing seemed to be "right." A friend of mine gave me some seashells from her vacation at Myrtle Beach. These weren't the kind of shells you buy at tourist shops. They were much better! I instantly fell in love with the texture of these really worn shell pieces. They had been tumbled by nature, and the sand and salt-water had left small holes in them. They screamed "organic," and were a perfect match with my red coral. Great pendants! Stringing them together and getting the coral pieces to "hug" the shells was not as easy as I thought it would be. I use monofilament line for most of my jewelry. I like it because it's strong, lays more softly, like string, and holds a nice tight knot. I ended up trying each pendant combo several times, then found it was best to actually "hand-sew" the shell and coral together. The coral had been machine-drilled, I assume, but not the shells. The little holes drilled by nature did not go straight through,; some were "foolers," and didn't go through the shell completely at all. I finally discovered that holding the shell in front of my work-light would let me see the tiny holes straight through, and also what angle they were. I decided that in starting with a long section of monofilament, I could sew the pendant pieces together, then continue beading small shells, stone chips, or beads up the same strand. It took time! Anyway, here are the end results, and I hope you enjoy them!