Friday, February 4, 2011

Silver Wire And Paua Shell Bracelet

When I was younger, I used to love collecting shells on the beach. Unfortunately, the shells in New York weren't the most interesting. One summer we went to Florida, though, and the shells there were amazing! They came in shapes and colors like I'd never seen; they almost didn't seem real.

These days, I still have a love of shells and the sea so when I saw these beautiful paua shell squares, I just had to get them. I wanted to create a piece of jewelry that showcased the shells, rather than blending them in with a bunch of other beads. I'd originally planned to make a cuff bracelet, but didn't like how it was coming out. Instead I opted for this simple design which alternates handmade silver wire squares with the paua shells. I feel like the silver and multi-colored shells look good together and the square design frames the beads. The spiral nature of the squares plays upon the natural spiral which forms within many shells.

I've been trying to experiment with different gauges of wire and I liked this gauge, 16, very much. It wasn't too hard, but was tough enough that the squares have depth. I have enough leftover shell beads to make a matching necklace, as well.

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