In April, from my envelopes, I chose a strand of beautiful snowflake obsidian gemstone beads to work with. I was so inspired by their form and snowflake pattern that I chose to design and create a necklace. Feeling ambitious after the necklace I created last month, I also decided to use a technique and tool I haven't used for a while: press forming.
Snowflake obsidian is a black gemstone with a grey-white inclusions which appear rather like ice patterns. For my feature necklace, I wanted to create a pebble shaped centrepiece with the snowflake obsidian colours reversed, so the 'white' silver as the background with a textured pattern oxisided black.
A vintage hammer with a rough file texture worked really well to create the organic surface texture on the sheet silver prior to forming. To create the 'pebble' form, I needed to make a bespoke tool using sheet acrylic (I have a few off cuts from a plastic factory which I have had in the studio for 15 years!) Then to refine the shape, I created a few test pieces in copper sheet. The final piece is made in silver and has a flat back soldered on so it is a nice form to hold, and makes it feel wonderfully solid without being overly heavy.
The necklace I made using the snowflake obsidian beads with sterling silver centrepiece
Acrylic press forming tool, copper samples and vintage hammer all part of the process of making the necklace
Close up of the vintage hammer with rough file texture which worked so effectively to create texture on the necklace centrepiece
Close up of the finished necklace