"En Tremblant" II
I really need to resort to a video clip to show the full effect of this piece because the design is really about the way that it moves.
Back in Victorian times, there was quite a fashion for jewellery that moved. For example, there were all sorts of rings with tops that wobbled or rocked . I think that the modern-day term might be kinetic jewellery, but they called the style "en tremblant".
Translated from the French, it means trembling, and I would be hard-pressed to find a better term to describe the way that stones in their little baskets move at even the slightest touch.
Maybe this close-up will help you imagine it better.
This is the second set that I've made designed along these lines (hence the "II"). The first design worked very well, but these work even better. I think that it is the slightly heavier settings for the stones and one little jump-ring less in the way they are hung that makes the difference, but they just seem to jiggle about incessantly.
Be prepared to have people staring mesmerised at your chest.
The close-up (which should expand if you click on it) also shows the finish in rather more detail. I initially intended to finish these with a high polish, especially on the plate behind each of the stones, the idea being that each would form a mirror to accentuate the movement of the stones.
No: too gaudy (IMO).
Getting a nice, even matt finish proved quite tricky but it was worth it, I think. In fact, the slight roughness adds some subtle sparkle to the metal (I would expect that to soften over the years).
If you ever need reminding of the variability of photography, computers, t'interweb and the limitations of my own photographic skills, this might do it for you. On my monitor, the colour of the gold in the photo above looks about right, but the tanzanites are a bit washed out - they look more like blue topaz. So, I tried different light angles etc. and got some more of the intensity and purple tinge of the tanzanite, but now the gold is starting to look a bit coppery. Heh, ho.
However, the second photo also makes it easier to see the slight asymmetry of the design.
I bought the 7 tanzanites as a 'pendant set': 6 smaller stones (8x5mm) and one larger one (9x6mm), but decided to eschew the 'obvious' arrangement. Each of the kites of the necklace are a slightly different size, but I still wanted the overall frame of the 'chain' to hang evenly.
Once again, the mathematician in me was called to action, but I think I got the weight and angle calculations about right. This was made to measure for my client, and the 3 middle triangles of the chain from an almost perfect straight line when worn. (my photography bust is a bit smaller, so it hangs slightly differently.)
And who was my 'client'? Yes, I use the term loosely. Neither was it really a commission. Let's just say that when Mrs A. suggested she'd like something nice for her birthday, it was me who went a bit en tremblant. Respect to Rumpole.