Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Art Elements Design Challenge, November 2019 - Fossils

When I learned that the subject of the November Art Elements monthly challenge was fossils, I knew I wanted to participate.  As far back as I can remember, I've had a love for the natural world, and to this day I enjoy collecting treasures found while walking in the woods around my home or while strolling along the beach.

While not all of the items in my small collection are fossils, they are all part of nature which is where I find most of the inspiration for my jewelry designs.  I rarely get to share them with anyone, so I hope no one minds if I share them now:

A tiny bird's nest, the eggs donated by a friend's cockatiel:

A skin shed by a snake once it grew large enough that it could no longer occupy this one:

An abandoned wasp nest.  I'm not crazy about this particular insect, but can still appreciate the beauty and remarkable detail of their engineering skills:

A fossilized vertebrae - based on the size, my guess is that it was from a bear:

A clam fossil found in a load of gravel that was delivered to our house:

Part of the shell was still attached:

Among many of the natural things I like to collect, there is a small collection of fossils that I always intended to make into jewelry.  Like so many things, life got in the way and they languished in a drawer until this month's challenge motivated me to finally do something with them.

For the challenge, I decided to tackle the snail fossil first by netting it in fine copper wire that had been oxidized to an antique finish.  Small copper beads were added to the last row for additional visual interest.  The finished pendant was suspended from antiqued copper ball chain.

I wanted to do something based on Peruvian thread weaving for the next design as the fossil had the right shape for this type of style.  I don't usually do much planning for my designs, but for this one I sketched out how I thought it would go.  To my surprise, it came out pretty much like the sketch!

Black lava beads and red coral were used in making components that were added to the chain:

I ran out of time for the last fossil design, but this is the prototype I've been working on:

The final piece will be done in sterling silver wire and the wires that go across the fossil will have enough curve to match the lines of the vertebrae.

I hope everyone who has taken the time to check out this blog post has enjoyed the journey.  I certainly enjoyed finally having a chance to work with these beautiful fossils that have been hidden away in a drawer for so long.

To see what the other participants of the "fossils" challenge have to say on the subject, please click on the links below: