Reimagined Components: Antique Sargent key with sterling silver abalone pendant strung on 25" 3mm brass curb chain.
1888's Take: "This sterling abalone pendant has a very unique shape...and when I was trying to figure out what it was I could only see it as a flame...then the ornate engraved aspects of the key in my eyes and my mind also became flames...and I imagined the strength and heat of the flames swirling upwards towards the magnificent, iridescent, blue keeper of the sea...the abalone. It reminded me of balance. Of the need to temper the flames when they get to large using their loving and elemental opposite...water. So this piece to me feels of balance and temperance. I would where it as a fable of equanimity."
When I close my eyes and think back on my own memories of the abalone, a mix of contrasting images come to mind...One such memory is from Jamestown Rhode island. In my uncle's house I would see these enormous deep see abalone shells strewn about on almost every surface (usually used as ashtrays)...so many rare treasures I would think...made rarer still when I learned that my uncle had dawned his deep-sea diving gear and harvested them himself during his time setting up a dive school on the opposite coast. The second is learning the traditional smudging ceremony from my mother...enter a room...light the sage...walk around the space counterclockwise twice then smudge the sage out in the abalone shell...
*The brilliantly iridescent inner shell of the abalone is in stark contrast to it's sea scarred outer shell making it a symbol one's inner beauty. The Shell itself is thick calcium carbonate and extremely tough. Many Native American Cultures traditionally use it as a smudge bowl & believe it holds healing properties especially with unstable emotions.
~Keys / Locks~
The right key can unlock the door to a lover’s heart, a new and bright opportunity, a once in a lifetime adventure, a chest of treasure, a deep and dark secret, or even change time itself by the winding of an old grandfather clock…
Historically, Companies like PF Corbin (known for their beautifully engraved “Carded keys”) or the Tower company (1865 founder John Tower) who was responsible for the first metal handcuff, can serve as a reminder that there is beauty in having the key to free ourselves…but taking the first step through the door is entirely up to you…one key, one lock…but what’s on the other side of the door is infinite possibility.
After each artifact or specimen has been discovered it is sent through a careful restoration process before being used in a design. If a particularly unique patina is found to add design value to an artifact, it's preserved & sealed to ensure its longevity & protection.