A design challenge came from my Port Townsend friend, Laura Popenoe.  I've written about Laura before and shared images of some of her work.   Laura is famous for her enamel work and elaborate collaborations with Lucia Antonelli.

Laura & Lucia's collaborations

She was also a tremendous innovator with electro-forming.  My favorite all-time Laura necklace, oft featured in Ornament magazine, has some wonderful examples of her electroformed work and pate de verre glass ... 

A few months ago, she called and asked if I'd be interested in a minor collaboration.  She had several of her enameled pieces that she'd like to put into jewelry so that she could wear them again.  Laura's dexterity is not what it used to be - she turned 80 not that long ago.  She's been a fan of my work since we met early on in PT, so it was a great honor to be asked.

A pair of pieces were made into matching necklaces to send to her great-granddaughters for their 13th birthdays ... thinking I forgot to take photos - bummer.  The other pieces were a set, inspired by a Turkish rug, electroformed copper and enameled.  They've been on my worktable for a while and it was way past time to finish the project.

So, my challenge ... create a necklace that speaks to both our aesthetics, honors the original intention of the components, integrate some of my own work, make it easy to take on and off and adjust for someone with nerve damage in her hands ... bottom line - the design had to be simple yet elegant.

My solution ...

Part of the challenge - the components all have 3 channels on the back, are quite heavy and the rectangular piece tended to roll when just strung by itself.  My solution was to make a frame of steel metal clay to stabilize the piece with channels to run the cord.  Amazing how such a simple design can take so very long.  I've been playing around with these components for months and the final assembly took hours of adjusting and re-working.

But I am quite pleased with the results ... it gets sent off today.  I'm hoping Laura likes it as well ... my gift to her for all the inspiration she's given me through the years.

l i g a - kvk