The ornate wrasse (Thalassoma pavo) is a species of wrasse native to the rocky coasts of the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. One need only dip one's head into the sea on any rocky shoreline to spot the frequent but lone fish, so exquisitely colored among the rocks nd anemones, as it grazes around for smaller creatures to eat with its grumpy little mouth.
I'm a true islander in that I have always loved the sea and being underwater. Skin diving, flippering my way on a single breath among the underwater towers of coral, I know the excitement of being among such beauty. I long purposely stayed away from the natural world in my art jewelry. Silly as it seems, I worried animals and flowers were just too damn common in subject, overdone. It took years till I found the way I wanted to say it, and the courage to do so, in big giant battelaxe kind of jewelry like this one.
About the piece
The central focal is in cloisonné enamel, a technique which at the time of writing I am in my fourth year of exploring. It is an ancient technique whereby wire is used to denote outline based on my own unique designs, into which grains of glass are placed and fused in many many goes inside the kiln. This is a very reductive way of explaining the ancient technique - for more, look at this IGTV I made on the subject.
The enamel laid over sparkling pure silver foil creates a very pretty effect when the fish catches the light, recalling the scales of a real fish. The setting for the enamel, the tail and bail is all sterling and argentium silver, with everything sawn out of sheet or wire to make an art sculpture. Dangling from the fish's body are three drops of 'lagoon-blue-green' african turquoise.
The necklace pendant comes on a strand of multicolored natural agate which echo the variation in hue of the underwater rock and seaweed a real wrasse would live on. For harmony, the agate beads were separated with real bright turqoise, which picks out the bright turquoise in the wrasse's body. The clasp is a strong mechanical orb clasp that efficiently and easily can be clipped and unclipped. Additionally the bail is wide enough to allow for the changing of the beaded necklace to a different strand should you so wish.
Focal: Cloisonné vitreous enamel on copper
Necklace Length: 20"
Dimensions of fish body (without dangles): 4"X1"
Sterling silver setting pendant
Patinated to enhance detail
Necklace: High-grade agate beads with turquoise spacers on sturdy wire strand
Clasp: Clip safety clasp, easy to use.
Dangling focals: African turquoise on sterling wire.
Signed and dated on the reverse for collectability
Ships 3-day courier to worldwide. I've posted hundreds of precious enamels over the years, your piece is safe so order with confidence.
Layaway accepted! Contact me for deets either via email or IG DM.
Care While enamel does not react to humidity or fade in the light, if the piece has gemstones it should be shielded from both. Enamels and stones should not be dropped from a height either as they might chip or shatter. And though sturdily put together, all hand-fabricated jewelry needs to be treated with care - do not drop, shock, tug or knock it into things. When making this jewelry the aim was to create a wearable piece of sculpture. Like clothing, jewelry will need cleaning and if worn continuously, possibly repairing. Care for it gingerly and the latter can be avoided entirely in your lifetime.
Alloys tarnish, and sterling silver is an alloy and will tarnish. Once you see tarnish you do not like, it is easy enough to restore brightness with tarnish-removing pads from jewelry stores. Try not to touch the stones with the pad as this is chemical-infused.