I saw this pendant at the Guilford Craft Expo two weeks ago. I was walking, vainly fanning myself against the sweltering summer heat, dodging elbows, when I saw a large flash of deep, cold blue. Nestled in a locked glass display box is this necklace from Steven Kolodny and Susan Gallagher (see link for full details). I was overcome by its beauty, its esquisite form, its graceful and feminine curves, and the dark, inviting roughness of its center. I almost wept from the intensity of my desire.
The picture does not do the actual object justice. At nearly 2 inches wide, it features an Azurite geode, accented by sapphires, diamonds, and pearls, all set in 18K yellow gold. It is the geode that commands attention, and for good reason. At 30 carats, it is a deep pure blue, speckled with flashes of crimson and green. The interior folds in with ever-rippling folds, like the petals of a flower, or the opening valve of a beating heart. Every fold is covered in tiny granules of crystal–granules finer than ocean sand, rounder than caviar. And every bead of crystal catches the light, sparkling bright flashes of blue, green, and white. It begs the hand to touch it, to feel its depths, its silicate flesh.
The geode is set with great skill into a complex setting that is both bezel and prong. This is not an easy stone to set, due to it shape. And because of its size, it requires careful craftmanship to maxmize the strength and stability of the metal. The setting is actually quite sturdy, given its dual nature, but this is disguised by the sculptural nest of gold and precious gems that surround it. The overall effect is of something soft, airy, light and altogther feminine. Without the nest of gold ribbons embracing it, the geode would be simply a small stone remarkable only for its deep luscious color and inviting interior textures.
This pendant is so esquisitely designed, and so expertly crafted, it has raised a mere stone to the status of precious gem, greater even than the diamonds, the pearl, and the sapphire that surround it. This is a pendant remarkable for its uniqueness. There can never be a beauty so rare as this, and in my opinion, it is worth far more than its market price. And it saddens me that I will likely never see it again, except in this inadequate, empty picture.
So to the designer and the craftsperson who created this perfect jewel, I say: you have elevated the art of Jewelry into the realm of Platonic Idealism, and I can only hope that I will someday have the skill and vision to do the same.