Welcome to the latest installment of our new blog series, where we tell the tale of one of our jewels from conception to completion, giving the scoop on the adventures that brought the materials to the studio and the thought process behind the design. (If you've ever wondered what exactly we were thinking...good/bad/questionable/awesome/crazy...here you are!)
Buying trips can be incredibly motivating. Yes, they are lots of work (orchestrating coverage for two small kiddos while away, making sure the Elva fort is held down at home, and being organized enough to know what we need--within budget!--while I'm purchasing...my mother and former husband rock at the first, the Elva Gals are money when it comes to the latter two) but something about sourcing new materials to bring back to the studio is entirely refreshing. After all the items on the "must" list are checked off, I always allow myself to wander aimlessly and buy for fun during the last few moments of market. Inevitably I discover something new from a favorite vendor, and it starts a snowball of creative brainstorming that simply hasn't happened with the "stuff" we've had sitting around the studio for a few months. I'll spend a large part of the trip home running through different designs in my mind, plotting various ways to incorporate the new goodies in a fun arrangement, and by the time I'm back in the studio, I hit the ground running with creative juices at full flow. It's a great feeling, and one of the reasons I love what I do. The creative mind is rarely at rest, apparently.
Such was the case for these gorgeous carved gemstone talons. Or claws. Or horns. (We've called them all three since they arrived.) Regardless of their nomenclature, they caught my eye immediately in a box displayed with row after row of bead strands at the wholesale market I attend four-five times a year. Ordinarily, I'm not sure I would have considered them...they're a little edgy for Elva, truthfully, but something about the variety in their shapes and colors held my attention. From rock crystal and turquoise to jade and agate, the mix of natural beauty and polished, pointed form was captivating. "What on earth would I do with these?" I wondered. And then I gathered a group of them and brought them home.
The pendants stayed in their plastic bag for a week once I returned to the studio. I knew if I unpacked them, all of my deadlines and must-do's would fall by the wayside. (I love working on what I'm not supposed to.) Then I couldn't help myself--I opened the bag and spread them across my design table...still no idea what exactly they'd become. I'd glance at them once in a while, working on other designs. I'd see them on my way out the door each evening, and ponder their potential on the drive home.
I think they sat there a solid month or so before I realized we'd create something totally different than our typical Elva statement necklaces with them. Working with 14 karat gold filled wire, we attached them to simple gold-filled chain, creating fun, layer-able necklaces, each with a single talon suspended at center. A bit on-trend, yet with a timelessness that will carry through the seasons, the longer length is flattering and incredibly easy to wear, especially for everyday. On the go with two little ladies, I rarely wear my larger Elva jewels during the workweek, and this necklace is the perfect solution to pull a casual outfit together with style and thought. (Like I may have actually spent more than ten minutes getting ready in the morning, which is rarely the case, unfortunately.) Even two at a time, staggered and layered--they are a new go-to.
Of course I couldn't resist finding a home for a few of them together in some larger designs in our Spring Collection. "A Gentle Force" and "Stylish Instincts" both incorporate a collection of the pendants (in turquoise and black onyx, respectively) in a tribal-inspired layout we're loving for a more dramatic effect--not for the faint of heart, for sure, but completely fun.
And all from a random discretionary discovery...goes to show we should veer off-track once in a while. Now...what to do with those zodiac pendants I insisted on bringing home...