Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Queen of the Abalone Forest

In keeping with my life-long obsession with all things ocean-related, I got my scuba diving certification while in my late 20's. I never got to do as much diving as I would have liked being that life (in the form of marriage and offspring) intervened, but that just makes the few dives I have done along the California coast that much more memorable.

Unlike a more tropical environment, California waters are surprisingly chilly. This means we don't have coral reefs. Instead, most of the underwater environment here consists of dense forests of kelp inhabited by rays, sharks, sea urchins, abalone and various fish - the most noticeable of which is the bright orange garibaldi (our state fish).

When I started pulling beads to go with this lovely green and brown ceramic mermaid pendant, I was reminded of the greens and browns of the underwater kelp forest. Then, I found these incredible abalone shell beads and off I went:

Abalone beads, Czech glass, tiger ebony wood slices and bronze Parawire made the perfect accents for this wonderful mermaid pendant.

While I mostly wanted the abalone shells to pick up the greens and chocolate browns in the rest of the palette, I couldn't resist adding a few small lavender seed beads to catch the purple opalescence in the shells.

The Czech glass beads have a Picasso finish on them that blends the greens and browns with some touches of dark blue (had to get the ocean in there somewhere).

A patinated brass hook and eye clasp add the finishing touch.

The "Queen of the Abalone Forest" invites you to come take a refreshingly chilly dip in California's coastal waters.



Mary Newton Designs said...

The abalone is perfect with the pendant and don't you just love the Picasso finish on glass?

TesoriTrovati said...

Such a cool and dreamy color palette. Suits that pendant so well! Enjoy the day!

SummersStudio said...

Beautiful! I especially like that you added the czech glass. It really does tie all of the colours together.

Where I used to go crabbing in South Australia is a similar environment. Lots of rays and milk shark. It's quite beautiful.

kelleysbeads said...

Um, you said inhabited by sharks. You just convinced me my feet need never be in your waters.

LURVE the new necklace and the colors/beads you chose!

swopemelmel said...

Undersea perfection. I LOVE it soooooo much. You are a wonderful designer and a super cool chick.

chacha1 said...


Pretty Things said...

That sincerely rocks. And kudos on the scuba diving -- being underwater gives me panic attacks! said...

I love this piece, KJ. The wood with those striking abalone make for a wonderful backdrop to that incredible pendant.