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Sunday, June 5, 2011

What's Old is New Again! - Swimming the Devonian Seas!

As a Design Partner for Artbeads.com I am taking part in their latest blogging challenge, where we were asked to draw inspiration from the past. The only requirement for this design challenge was that we incorporate an 'old' item and add modern elements to make it 'New Again'. Well, I decided to go with really old as in ancient and extinct old!

I had bought this beautiful pendant of an Ammonite encased in sturdy sterling silver during my recent trip to Sri Lanka, and thought it would serve as a great center piece for this challenge.

Swimming the Devonian Seas!

Ammonites are extinct mollusks, related to modern day squids and octopuses. They were abundant in the Devonian seas some 400 million years ago. Then, as with the dinosaurs they became extinct some 65 million years ago. The familiar spiral pattern is seen when the Ammonite fossil is cut lengthwise in half and polished to be used in jewelry. Gem quality Ammonite fossils are often iridescent. The name Ammonite is derived from the spiral shaped ram's horn associated with the Egyptian God Ammon or Amun. The soft-bodied animal lived in the outer larger chambers of the shell, while the older smaller chambers, which as it outgrew them, were walled off and filled with gas to provide buoyency for movement in the ocean.

Ammonite fossils are quite abundant in Europe, Canada, and found also in Madagascar and even in Nepal. The are valuable to geologists as 'index fossils' as they help date the rock layers in which they are found. They are also known as 'snake stones' or serpent stones' as medieval Europeans thought they were coiled snakes. In Nepal, they are sacred and worshipped as a manifestation of the Hindu God Vishnu.



This ancient creature, is swimming in a sea of Swarovski Crystallized Elements, teeming with life. I have tried to capture the abundance and iridescence that is found in deep ocean waters with four strands of Montana Sapphire bicone crystals, some peacock blue freshwater pearls and sterling silver rondelles. Two large Bronzite rondelles, so similar in color to the fossil pendant, marks the sea-land boundary, and then more Swarovski Smoke Topaz bicones and Swarovski Copper Pearls. Since there was so much going on in the front of the necklace, I was looking for a simple closure and found this perfect hook and eye clasp in shiny sterling silver.


So what do you think?

A word about Artbeads.com, it is amazing the selection of quality beads and supplies that they carry, so much so, that any design idea can materialize with the variety available to be purchased. I have been a customer of Artbeads.com since 2004, and highly recommend the store for both their varied selection and excellent customer service.


Disclosure: Some of the beads described above I have received free of charge from Artbeads.com.
I have been asked to use/review these beads/supplies and give my honest opinion of them.  I am not being paid by Artbeads.com for my endorsement of any of the products received and reviewed in my blog postings.

6 comments:

Designs by Dawn Marie said...

I love your design Regina! Love the blue/brown combo for the crystals and pearls. Beautiful!

Have a terrific week!
{Hugs!}

Jenni said...

The ammonite is fantastic, thanks for the facts... so fascinating. I love your design with the division of sea and land, and how it ties in with your ammonite facts. Great planning.
Jenni

Kristen said...

Gorgeous!!! I love your interpretation of the challenge!

Azure Islands Designs said...

Gorgeous piece Regina! I love Ammonite...the pendant looks especially wonderful with the blue/brown combo, earthy but vibrant!

What a great informative post! I enjoyed the way you included the history/detail/information...
Cheers

Marie S said...

What a beautiful description, information, and necklace!!
Thank you.
Well done on all points!

Copper Diem said...

pretty! love the colors!!

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