Benny came to me with an idea for a pendant. He wanted to surprise his wife of almost fifty years with a pendant shaped like the ancient Dolmen in Aughnacliffe, that they both loved and lived close to, for their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
I was hooked....
I didn't realise that his time line was so tight though, he came to me mid July, and their anniversary was mid August. I thought we were still in June!! So by the time I visited the Dolmen and took photos, I had about two weeks left. The pressure was on...
Time to start work! I got 1.6mm sheet silver and drew the image onto it. Then with a fine jewellery saw, I cut the Dolmen shape from the silver, leaving some grass at the base. And then I started to carve in the details, with little hand engravers ( like chisels).
Out of 14ct 0.5mm sheet, I cut out the grass shape, to lay over the silver at the base of the Dolmen. I used the small pic for the shape and size, but I always need a big pic to see all the details. It's the only way to be really accurate.
You can see from the picture above (the first image after soldering on the grass!) the colour of the metals change and it is hard to see the carving so well. Never mind, it will all come up fine when I polish it at the end.
A closer look at the depth and soldering in the Aughnacliffe Dolmen Pendant.
Now it's time for polishing up and a wee bit of blackening to bring up the details. I love the blues that come out sometimes with patinating (blackening with ammonium sulphate). You can really see the carving on this piece, you can see from the picture on my hand - it's a big piece and quite weighty!
The customer wanted stud earrings to match, so I just created some stones with a clump of grass.
The spiral means a lot to the end wearer, so I did a bit of research on the means behind different spirals.
I decided to go with the Luna Goddess spiral.
The Dolmen Pendant complete with matching stud earrings.
Back of the Dolmen, with the Luna Goddess spiral and the end wearer's name in Ogham. Clearer view of the back. The Ogham reads from bottom to top and says "Catherine".
Benny was so delighted that he was almost speechless when he saw the finished pieces.
Upon receiving her present Catherine sent this message to me;
"Hi Elena I just want to tell you how much I admire and love the work you did on my beautiful Dolman pieces. I shall treasure their uniqueness,and wear them proudly.
Benny had agreed I thought (??) to my suggestion that we have a low key Anniversary in these Covid circumstances and definitely no presents.
I felt like Scrooge on Saturday morning I can tell you.