Happy Spring! It’s Almost Cherry Blossom Season!

Posted by on Mar 26, 2018

And this post is about what Cherry Blossoms look like in jewellery form, through my eyes, hands and heart.

Detail of my “in progress” Cherry Blossom Artist Competition piece for Spring One of a Kind. The small freshwater pearls I was thinking of adding to the design are not attached, just placed near where I wanted them.

I am a regular participant in the One of a Kind Show Artist Competition. The competition is always a chance to challenge myself to come up with something unique, within the boundaries of my medium, that fits with each theme.  

Sometimes, the idea and resulting piece come easily and others are more work. This “Cherry Blossoms” creation took a long time, in both concept and execution. I had to figure out exactly where I was going and what I wanted to do. I thought about it A LOT. I did a lot of online research about Cherry Blossoms. I walked in High Park looking at the cherry trees. What did early signs of spring growth look like, if there were any? To be honest there were NO signs: just too cold and wintery still. But I did get a better sense of the cherry tree, which helped.

I learned that the Cherry Blossoms grow on dark-hued tree bark. The flowers have five petals and have an ethereal look, because there are many tiny blossoms that are at various stages of flowering over a very short period of time.

Detail of the freshwater pearls now added to the clusters of Czech glass beads and Swarovski Briolette pink crystals

To begin my design, I created the branches on the tree, using Brown Swarovski Pearls. I hand knotted two strands of different necklace lengths. I then made three bronze single chain necklaces of different lengths to be added to the mix, to create a five strand statement necklace.

I use my natural gas torch to melt a ball on the end of a wire to create a “head pin”.

The head pins (shown above) were used to hold the freshwater pearls that I added as embellishments to the bronze chains. These were interspersed with five different coloured Czech glass beads I added in clusters to imitate the cherry blossoms in the early stages of development.

Very close shot of my Kick Press, as I flatten the centre area of what will be the “C” shaped toggle bar part of the 3.0 mm sterling round wire of five twisted rings clasp I hand built.

To visually offset the five-stranded necklace, I altered the design of my Jackie O Necklace toggle, so the size of the five strands together didn’t overwhelm the original size of the Jackie O clasp. You can see the “C” toggle above and finished in the image below.

Detail of finished toggle clasp. Recognize the finished “C” bar of the clasp?

A beautiful piece of jewellery has to look good from any angle so that you always notice it, no matter where you are in relation to the person wearing it. It’s very important that it look just as beautiful from the back, as it does from the front. Just like a cherry tree itself, which has no “bad sides”.

Necklace from the back.

When I am designing jewellery, I have a “go big or go home” mentality. All my designs make a statement. Since I believe that a cherry tree in full bloom makes a very powerful “nature statement”, I upped my game with this “jewellery statement”.

I repeated the theme of “five” throughout the design. The ethereal look of the blooms is a combination of glass, crystal and freshwater pearls. The large brown velvet Swarovski crystal pearls and chunky bronze chains emulate the majesty of the tree itself. When you bring all of the elements together, they result in a very large statement, which I think is just like the cherry trees when they are in full bloom.

Finished Cherry Blossom Piece.

Angled view of the Cherry Blossom Necklace.

To see my Cherry Blossom Competition entry in The Spring One of a Kind Show, please visit the Centre Aisle of the show from March 28 – April 1.

To see the real “Cherry Blossoms”, go to High Park at the beginning of May. There are many mature trees located just west of the Grenadier Restaurant, on the slope leading to the pond area. It is a site to behold when they are all in bloom: a definite confirmation that Spring has arrived.