Cloisonne’ is a metal and glass technique developed in ancient China. Tiny brass walls outline the design elements and then each is filled with brilliantly colored ground glass and fired.
The colors of the fan-shaped pendant serve as a starting place for the choice of gemstones used in the set. Carnelian echoes the deep reddish terra cotta and Peridot, the brilliant green; re- minding me of the Earth and the trees and grasses which grow on it. The pendant is from Asia and the stones from Africa. Peridot is an olivine and is called Chrysolite in the Bible. Once it was mined at night, since the transparent stone gleamed in the handheld light and is the gemstone that was called emerald in Cleopatra’s time and before. It was found on an island off the coast of Egypt though the mines are now exhausted.
You may notice that the clasp is built into a carnelian bead so the design flows without interruption around the wearer’s neck and back to the pendant, perhaps adding a museum touch to your dressing table, if left there for your pleasure.
Contrasting the shape and size of the transparent stones is one of the techniques I used to add visual interest to the design. For artists seeking harmony in their work, the task is always to create a balance between variety and uniformity. Too much variety creates confusion but too little is boring. In this case, though the color contrast of green and red is great, because it echoes that of the pendant, the work becomes unified.
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