Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Pearl Piece Update #2

Whenever I make new work, I do a lot of research. I've mentioned how I read books, study articles, and listen to podcasts on the topics I want to illustrate in jewelry, objects, and installations. I like gathering information and adding knowledge and depth to my ideas. I tend to start with Wikipedia or a general Google search and things begin to open up. I look at the books I own and try to find new titles. I talk to friends and colleagues and often our conversations lend interesting thoughts and sources. Recently, a friend recommended a book titled Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay. The book details various kinds of jewels including pearls and I fiercely read each page of this chapter. It's a fascinating combination of history, lore, and personal experience, describing the origins of the name, how pearls are cultured, and a variety of stories about pearls from Julius Caesar to Mikimoto. This lead me to remembering my own experiences with historical pearl jewelry during my travels from the British Museum to the Victoria and Albert to the Palazzo Pitti. Here are a few pictures:

seed pearl jewelry

hand-shaped pearl pin

pearl and garnet necklace

Thanks for reading.

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