Down to a Sunless Sea Necklace • Xanadu collection
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea." - Kubla Khan
This is the title-piece to my Xanadu collection. The piece is in the shape of a bottle, symbolising tincture of opium, the drug prescribed for dysentery which Coleridge claims induced him to write Kubla Khan. Inside this bottle under a gold-speckled milk way, shielded by that infamous dome - the pleasure palace is glimpsed among the dark trees that surround it. And the river Alph, gleaming sparkling blue, snakes its way through icy caves before it plummets into a dark fathomless ocean. With this piece I wanted to create so much - a sense of movement within the body of water, itself a symbol of inspiration. Of beauty mixed with dread, with the contrast of the pink palace and the starlit sky against the awe-inspiring darkness of the caverns. And mostly an encapsulated fantasy world, a whole world inside a portal-bottle. It is entirely one of a kind and has great depth.
About the piece
The focal was created in the painstaking ancient technique of cloisonné enamel. After designing the linework, I bend miniscule fine silver wires into the outline designs, which are then filled with thin layers of glass powder, each layer requiring separate kiln firings. The result is a manmade gemstone. It will not fade and will be as beautiful and bright today as it will be a thousand years from now.
For more about this technique, have a look at my IGTV.
The setting for this piece has an open back to alleviate weight, through which the back of the enamel can be glimpsed. It has also been mounted on a wide bail, in order to accommodate a variety of chains and even beaded strands and allow greater breadth of wear. It will be supplied with a very long sturdy 38" chain (pictured shortened on the mannequin).
At a Glance:
Focal: Vitreous Enamel on copper with gold leaf details.
Size of focal: 4" X 2"
Hand-fabricated sterling setting
Comes on a sturdy 38" chain. It can be shortened - please let me know at checkout.