We pride ourselves on unique and one of a kind designs, and our new alien inspired pendant, “Paul”, is certainly out of this world.
The design for Paul came from searching through a range of pearls; The Village Goldsmith founder and Director, Ian Douglas, discovered this baroque (natural and organic shaped) black pearl. Pearls are created when a minuscule foreign body, like a grain of sand, becomes stuck inside a mollusc. The mollusc then builds up layers of nacre (a calcium carbonate formula) around it. The more layers that build up, the larger the pearl gets. Sometimes these layers can form as perfect balls, and other times they may form as organic shapes.
Ian noticed this particular baroque black pearl was not only organically shaped, but featured indentations which made it look similar to what can only be described as a “studious alien head.” That inspiration led to matching ‘Paul’ to a gorgeous emerald cut 4.98ct citrine, the two combining to create a silver and gold alien studying the miracles of the universe.
Ian sketched the design of Paul and gave the task of his creation to master jeweller, Darren Orr. When he was first given the design, Darren was very hesitant – we often craft out of the box designs, but this sketch was a step further. This piece is “by far the most whimsical piece” Darren has been asked to craft, but he quickly warmed to the task of bringing Paul to life.
The first step was to carve a wax master which was then cast to create the sterling silver body and then add the 9ct yellow gold twirling 'antenna’. Once the precious metals were cast and cleaned up, Darren then set the citrine. The citrine is not secured in place with a traditional setting style, the clasps are in fact the alien’s hands, hand-engraved to create a finger like appearance.
To set the baroque black pearl into place, Darren placed a pin-like peg into the pearl to attach it to the sterling silver backing. Finally, the 9ct yellow gold spiralling feature was added to the top of the pendant’s design. The total crafting process took Darren six hours from start to finish and he was taken with the character of the design throughout that time. After all, how often does anyone get to craft a studious looking alien pendant with a pearl for a head and holding a citrine as a portal to the universe?
While we are known for crafting pieces inspired by stories, sometimes the story is brought to life through the crafting process or elements of the piece. This pendant was inspired by a single pearl, the design was drawn, and a vision was fashioned.