Seahorse in Kelp Forest Pendant and Brooch

Seahorse in Kelp Forest Pendant and Brooch

I have long been interested in environmental issues and when I was tasked with making a piece for an exhibition entitled “Underwater Flora and Fauna”, I remembered hearing about Kelp Forests and I decided to investigate further.

I learned that these are found all over the world but I was particularly interested to discover that they exist off the Sussex coast which is near to where I live. Kelp forests provide a vital habitat for a host of sealife, from tiny worms to young fish and help protect coastal areas from storm surges. Threats to them include climate change, pollution and over fishing. David Attenborough made a film for BBC South called “Save Magical Kelp Forests”. There is a campaign by Sussex Wildlife Trust highlighting this issue and I wanted to help by raising awareness. Jewellery has been used throughout history to convey messages and this piece follows  this tradition to help initiate conversations about the cause.

Sketch book designs for Kelp Forest jewellery

I began by making lots of drawings to decide the shape and the design. The first piece I made was a smaller pendant measuring 40mm x 26mm. This enabled me to try out the colours and the design before I committed to a larger piece of silver.

I wanted to make the next piece able to be worn both as a brooch and a pendant. This makes it more versatile and adaptable, plus brooches/badges are particularly associated with messages and protest. It took a lot of planning to ensure the shape worked for both, as well as working to help create the illusion of depth to the sea. Here is the design I chose to make.

Seahorse in Kelp Forest Pendant/brooch

The enamel comprises fine gold and fine silver cloisonné on basse taille fine silver, set in a bezel with jelly fish on the back. There is a loop for a chain and a double pin brooch fastening. The pin fastening can be used as a stand to display the piece when it is not being worn. It measures 56mm x 28mm.

I am planning for this to be part of a new series of pieces entitled “Let’s Talk”. There are too many instances of individuals, businesses and governments quietly getting on with polluting our planet in pursuit of profit, without a care for the consequences. “Let’s Talk” will be a range of pieces designed to promote conversation about environmental issues and to raise awareness. With knowledge and coming together there is a real hope that we can work together for the good of nature and to promote a better, healthier future for us, our children and for generations yet to come. Knowledge is power and we can use it to work together for a better future.