Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Sycamore Necklace - final installment

I breathed a sigh of relief this morning when I received word that the Sycamore Necklace had reached its final destination.  When I cast my creations off into the big wide world I am glad to release them on their travels but I don't rest easily until I know they have arrived safe and sound, in one gleaming glowing piece.

This project has had a long gestation period.  It began in my sketchbook back in 2007 :

Sketchbook Number 8, Cari-Jane Hakes, 2007
At that time I had been reading Khalil Gibran's The Prophet and had begun to connect his words with this idea of the sycamore seeds.

"Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days,
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you."

I stitched and sewed and riveted and tested and stress tested and form tested and drew and thought on it some more.

Sycamore necklace original form prototype (see also here)
Copper and paper test maquettes (see also here)
Melding 1mm sterling silver sheet and 0.5mm 18 ct gold wire I cut and rolled and soldered and filed and sanded and wire wooled...

Sycamore Necklace, sterling silver, 18ct gold, Cari-Jane Hakes, May 2012
This piece has weight to it.  Physically, when held in your hands, you know it is there.  Once resting in place though, it settles, warms up and becomes light.  It was commissioned to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary.  As always with these important pieces I become conscious of the weight of the occasion as well as the importance and the significance of creating something to mark a point in time.  I take all these things and weave them until they achieve some kind of lightness through detailing, form and shape.  It has to look effortless.  Like it simply came into being by some kind of magic and to be honest, this is often how I feel when I hold a finished piece for the first time.  All the hours of work dissolve and fall away to leave a silvered light and a golden glow.

Elsewhere today I found this totally delightful little film.  It feels like an apt little piece to accompany the Sycamore Necklace.  Enjoy mes amis!


  1. Wow Cari-Jane, what a beautiful creation-you are so talented. I love seeing your whole process from start to finish-the prototype is amazing. Just so clever...

  2. What beautiful words and I can't imagine a more meaningful piece of art to commemorate a milestone such as a 40th wedding anniversary! (I love to feel the weight of my jewelry... If I have welts or indentations on the back of my neck - all the better!)


  3. How appropriate, I read that very piece at the time of my wedding. It surely makes the anniversary necklace even more special adding that layer of significance.

  4. I want the copper one! Lovely to see it on. Hx


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