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A unique handmade necklace featuring a natural sea urchin shell. In this necklace I combined beadwork with a touch of soutache to frame a wonderful sea urchin shell. A chunky sea glass fringe and thick braided leather cord complete this original piece.
The beautiful, clear blue sea that surrounds the Maltese Islands is not only a great source of inspiration, it is also occasionally a source of my materials.
Sea urchin shells make wonderful focal features in jewellery and accessories. I collect only sea urchin shells and never live sea urchins. The shells are extremely fragile and must be washed very carefully and strengthened before they can be used.
Sea urchin shells, washed.
After washing the shells I check them and put aside those with visible defects. The good ones make it to the the next step: strengthening. This is when I I fill them and apply several coats of non-yellowing varnish.
Sea urchin shells, filling and varnishing.
Now the fun begins, deciding what I’m going to do with them!
So many new shapes of beads are available, makes beadwork even more fun!
When I saw these spike beads I knew I wanted to try and make a cuff bracelet that incorporates them at the ends. I teamed them up with Super Duo beads to create end-caps and used them on metallic Eco Nappa Leather.
I made my first creation specifically for ArtFire this week, as part of the Handmade In Europe Guild’s monthly challenge. This month had a Woodland theme and I used suede, wooden beads and glass flowers and leaves.
I’m working on something new today to introduce something for men in my Etsy shop … knotted cufflinks in leather and suede.
I’m still experimenting with different leather thicknesses. The black leather I have resulted in knots that are slightly too big to pass comfortably through a shirt buttonhole, but the suede is perfect. I have lots of suede in different colours so I’ll be making a few pairs in suede using the stock I have and I’ll also get some new thinner leather because I really like the look of those!