Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Upcycling :: Spanish Galleon

This was a fun project for so many reasons. First, as you all know I'm nuts about history and the origins of artifacts. But I was thrilled when a friend handed me a bubble wrapped mystery and asked if I might be able to do something with it. As I unwrapped it, I got very excited. Yah, I know I'm a geek that way. But I saw these shards and realized that they had to be from a recent trip to Thailand. 

Our friend was explaining that he'd been snorkeling off a small island in the Philippines called Isla Verde, a popular dive site where a Spanish Galleon ship went down in 1620 after returning from a trip to China. It was full of items; including Chinese pottery, when it went down. Those pottery shards are now washing up on the shore of the small island. 

The island is located right in the center of a strait in the Philippines and known for it's pristine clear waters with a great view of the wreck. Not much is left to salvage from the wreckage except for shards of porcelain and a few larger pieces of terracotta jars. It is a pretty unique place where you can enjoy amazing scuba diving, and above the water you can walk the beach to discover pieces of porcelain from the shipwreck centuries before. 

Our friend asked if I might be able to take the shards and create a pair of earrings for his girlfriend. I tried to be as minimalistic as possible (or in other words, I did not not want to bezel these). I wanted to leave as much of the edges as I could so you could still see the wear on the porcelain from the sea. I decided that I would cold forged some 16 gauge silver to create a partial bezel and glue it to the porcelain. Because the porcelain is porous it worked quite well for this technique. These are a secret gift, but no worries as I don't believe she reads my blog. I hope she likes them!

25 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

What a wonderfully unique way to use those lovely sea-kissed shards. You truly are original and creative Cynthia!

Duni said...

Oh wow - what a unique gift! You're such a talented jewelry maker, Cynthia! I'd have fun looking for shards on that beach :)

Memories for Life said...

What a special pair of earrings! And what a thoughtful boyfriend! She is going to love these earrings. I like how you kept them simple to let the design and shape show.

Linda Y said...

OMG Cynthia these are awesome. I love them and the story behind them. I've never heard of cold forging before so now I must google. This recipient should absolutely love these.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Cynthia,
Wow what a wonderful story and a beautiful job on the earrings. I know she will be tickled pink to get these earrings they are beautiful.
Therese

Christine Altmiller said...

These are such Beauties! You have a great way of knowing when to keep it simple and you work your magic that way. I really like the movement you gave them. If my Man gave me this gift.....well, it would be better than any ol' diamond any day!

Claudia Aguilar said...

I am sure the lady will love the earrings! What a great background story for them :)

Kashmira said...

WOw!!! Those are amazingly gorgeous! A clever design and a very thoughtful gift!

Cold forge...how'd you do that? It looks super cool!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Stunning, Cynthia! I have always loved broken-dish jewelry. Your design, together with the unique story, are sure to make these a treasured gift!

BeadedTail said...

What a fabulous story! How cool to be able to create with that porcelain and although I'd never have a clue what to do with them, you turned them into gorgeous earrings! How in the heck do you bezel something?

Mama Zen said...

Those are truly stunning!

Abby / Linda said...

Absolutely awesome use of the shards! Beautiful!!

Patti Van said...

Each time you post I am more impressed with your creativity than the last post! This is totally beautiful! What a nice gift!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

These are beautiful! Definitely another of my favourites :)

Magic Love Crow said...

These earrings are so cool and different! I love the history behind the found pottery!

Caron Michelle said...

What a magical place to visit, you have created a beautiful design respectful of the history of the shards, love the sentiment behind the story as well.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful work Cynthia! The shards are so precious. I am sure she will love what you have done with this treasure!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Broken pottery never looked so good! I am sure they will be adored!

Marcela Gmd said...

Interesting post!!! great and beautiful work!!!
Besos, Marcela♥

Gloria said...

You are living up to your blog name with this post! Fabulous artifact and your earrings are perfect. I enjoyed those pictures of the water, so clear and revealing.

pasqueflower said...

Beautiful! What a wonderful surprise gift!

Judy Nolan said...

I'm so glad you recorded the story of where these porcelain shards came from. This way, once you give the earrings to your friend to give to his girlfriend, you'll still own a piece of the project. The earrings are beautiful--so delicate!

storybeader said...

they are beautiful! I love how you connected them. And to know they're from the 17th century. That's old! Nice job - I know they will enjoy them. {:-D

Natashalh said...

Beautiful! I've always been interested in trying to make porcelain shard jewelry but I've never tried.

Janet Bocciardi said...

Love them! Christine linked me to this post, because I have some shards I've been hoarding from Scotland. They're from a beach my family lived many years ago so I wonder if they used the dishes. :-) These turned out like fine jewelry - really beautiful. I've saved other broken dishes to do a mosaic some day. Maybe next winter I'll actually get that project done!

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