We have been collaborating artists our entire married lives. Our work is always evolving. The experiences we share, or individually participate in, become a part of what we create. Bruce photographs and throws pots and I paint and create jewelry and other objects from precious metals. Bruce's photos are sometimes the inspiration or reference for my paintings and often times I sculpt and carve into his pottery. The results from our combined knowledge and skills becomes something beautiful that we enjoy sharing. Enjoy.

May 11, 2016

Well, here I am again! Began my day with some great reading from a book by Carol Marine on Daily Painting. My artist friend, Gabby, gave it to me because we both share a love for her work. I am inspired and ready to get back on the painting train. I have one more metal piece to finish first. It's a Mabe Pearl. The following description of a Mabe Pearl came from a site on the internet called Kari Pearls and she describes it very well:

"Mabes are basically cultured blister pearls that have grown attached to the shell of the mollusk. The mollusks most commonly used to culture mabes are the Pinctada Maxima, Pteria penguin, or Pteria sterna.
For growing mabes a flat bottomed, plastic nucleus is glued inside the shell beneath the mantle tissue. This differs from spherical pearls in that most nuclei used for them are made from shells, although experiments with different nuclei have been and are being conducted.
Several different shapes can be used for the plastic nuclei. You may see rounds, as in these photos, drops, ovals, or hearts. I've even seen company logos coated with nacre and centuries ago the Chinese would glue on metal Buddhas which were then coated with nacre. The possibilities are almost endless.
After the plastic bead has been glued and the mollusk returned to the water, the mollusk then begins coating the nuclei with lustrous nacre, layer after layer of brilliant shine. After between eight and twelve months the mollusk is harvested. This amount of time has allowed about 1mm of nacre to coat the nuclei.
The blister pearl is cut off the shell, sometimes with a hollow drill, the plastic nuclei is removed and the hollow space filled with colored resin and sometimes a bead for added strength. The back is then covered with a mother of pearl backing."

                  Below are the parts of the pendent I will be putting together. I've cut a beautiful vintage spoon handle and soldered two large jump rings to attach a chainmaille (last thing to do) to and I measured, made the bezel for the pearl, and soldered it to the spoon. I actually used the underneath of the spoon, rather than the top. The top was curved and not as detailed as I liked so the backside seemed to be a better choice. To finish I will set the pearl and make the chain. The two small pearls will be part of the chain close to the pendent. I'll post the finished product in a few days.

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