Out of the many stones this dull creme colour stone caught my fancy one day. It had beautiful layered texture. I was looking at the stone and it said it had to lay horizontal in the piece.
I kept the stone horizontally on paper, traced its shape and started sketching. The horizontal shape reminded of a traditional Marathi jewellery piece called Tanmani.
I am always in love with the designs and workmanship of truly traditional/ethnic jewellery. Those designs are created and perfected by many artisans over the generations.
A Tanmani is a neck-piece with horizontal focal piece decorated with precious stones and pearls. It has minimum three small dangles below. The bails are on either sides of the focal. The cord is multi-stranded and generally with many strings of really small pearls. Length of the piece is not too long. The focal sits just below the neck.
Here I had a horizontal base that looked like it was waiting to become a new age, fusion version of Tanmani. I sketched around the traced shape of the stone. I had to let go of the bails on either side feature because I did not like how it looked after it was wrapped in wires. Also there was no scope to attach the dangles to make it look effortless. So I went for two bails on top of the stone. That ensured just enough wire-work and stone was still visible. The knots at the bottom made it easy to have separate horizontal piece of wire for dangles. Used spirals where the dangles were supposed to hang. Copper was obvious choice with the colour of the stone and I am biased towards copper as well. Wrapping of the base horizontal stone was done with 18 gauge copper wire.
I picked three little red stones from my stash to use as dangles. Wrapped those with crossing the wires just once. Wire used was 21 gauge copper. Twisted both the strands to make the stone stay put. The dangles were attached to the stone from below.
Some more detail needed at the twisted dangle wire. Also I needed to figure out a way to have multi-stranded look in the cord. My other love, fabrics, came to my rescue.
Fabric stripes were wrapped around the twisted wire and 24 gauge copper wire was wrapped over it so the fabric stays in place. I made six long links in the same way with 18 gauge copper wire in the base. Three strands on each side. I put them together with cord end connectors I made from 18 gauge copper wire.
Here I decided to let go one more Tanmani feature, shorter length. I decided to go with longer length and used stripes cut from fabrics same as the ones that were wrapped on the wire to make the rest of the cord.
I love the piece. I would love to wear it and show you how I styled rest of the attire but this is already claimed by my dear friend Deepali. She has great fashion sense and she is a fabulous Henna artist from Los Angeles.
Lets hope she shares her pictures of the complete styling once she gets this piece and wears it.