Treasures of the Deep
My current passion and inspiration is jewellery pieces that evoke a feeling of pirate booty or mermaid treasures. Big and rich and full of coins, pearls, gems with a promise of possibility. Sparkling yet aged, whispering stories of the past with a modern twist.
The new collection is called Treasures of the Deep. My inspiration comes from chunky, bauble-y mermaid treasures, lush and dripping with coins and pearls and flowing tresses. I have discovered some fabulous focal piece antique coins and tribal discs to ground the organic flow of the designs.
So far I have come up with three new designs for this collection, but stay tuned as I uncover more antique pieces to play with. There are so many treasures out there just waiting to be brought back to the surface!
This is a short collar style necklace, chunky and off center but with organic symmetry. The antique coins used in this design are called a ‘skar’ and are dated from early 1900’s. The skar coin represents a smaller denomination of a srang silver coin. The original meaning of the skar is star which refers to the small stars which were found as subdivides on the horizontal bar of the Tibetan and Chinese scales. One side shows a Tibetan Snow Lion and the other the denomination with the outline of the Himalayan Mountains. In this Shi design the coins are interspersed with a center Shi Silk piece and irregular freshwater pearls.
The focal centerpiece to this long and alluring necklace is the Tenpō Tsūhō Japanese coin from 1835. Tsūhō means circulating treasure in Japanese. This coin was cast in Edo with a face value of 100 mon in 1835, the 6th year of the Tenpo era. One side of the coin reads Tenpo which is a reference to the era that this coin was designed in and the other side means Tsūhō ‘circulating treasure or currency’. The Kao or stylized signature on the coin is representative of the original designer of the coin Goto Saneman. He was a member of the Kinza mints Goto family, descendents of first Goto metalworker and engraver from Kyoto in 1601. The Tenpō Tsūhō coin circulated for 35 years after the introduction of the Japanese Yen and today is collected as a lucky charm. This fabulous coin stands alone in the Shi Tsūhō Necklace but is accentuated with a subtle Shi piece and a draping cluster of gems.
Wooden beads hand tied with waxed cotton cording balance the Karen Hilltribe silver patterned disc, mini Shi piece and the raw cut druzy crystal. Shi Studio works through fair trade channels with the Karen Hilltribe to acquire a variety of silver charms. This hilltribe silver disc is a favourite and works so well with the natural feel of the beads and cording. Druzy crystals, used at the bottom of this design, are a formation of tiny sparkling ‘baby’ crystals on the surface of a larger crystal stone body. They are said to amplify and purify the body’s natural energy as well as boost creativity, imagination and induce relaxation and help awaken positive self love. This Shi Studio design is unique in that not only is it texturally diverse but a challenge in the fact that the entire necklace is constructed and finished with ties and one single strand of cord. Chunky and sexy yet light and soft, the Hilltribe Druzy Necklace is reminiscent of a mala necklace crossed with a bohemian mermaid.