It’s Been Awhile…

It’s been awhile since my last entry eventhough there were many new designs created since. But do check out my facebook page if you would like to follow current developments. (

After completing this piece as I felt it deserved a mention here.This piece is an ogival pendant with scalloped borders encrusted with emeralds and rubies and has a marquise cut abalone shell centre studed with a blue grey pearl.

The original inspiration is the Peranakan “Pending” which is a belt buckle worn by the nyonyas to secure the sarong. Many of these buckles are heavily decorated with a technique called Repousse. I had attempted this technique whilst in college and it is not an easy technique to learn much less to master. Essentially Repousse is an embossing technique, knocking on the reverse side of a flat piece of metal to create patterns on the obverse.The craftmen that made some of the spectacular Nyonya Pending had taken Repousse to new heights by making the motifs and  images almost 3-dimensional. Though Repousse is a beautiful( and demanding ) technique, I decided not to go down this path.

I chose a completely different path by stripping the Pending naked and using only its iconic ogival form and capturing only the essence of the Pending. On the border, I embellished it with scroll motifs and precious stones. The casing that I made for the stones were quite small and I had to use 1.5mm stones. However the only stones I had at the time of this size are emeralds and rubies. After the stones had been set, I disliked for the color combination of pink( rubies )and green( emeralds )and banished the half completed piece into my “reject” drawer. That was one and a half years ago.

Recently I attempted to clear the ‘reject” drawer which is bursting at the seams by trying to salvaged half done pieces and make them store worthy. I took one look at the ogival pendant and shook my head, “how am I going to fix you?”. At the same time, my eyes spied a piece of abalone shell sitting in the same drawers. The abalone shell is being punished in the drawer for its vivid pink and green pearlescent hue which to me is an unfortunate color combination. Somehow like a strange obsession,I had the urge to put both these two together. In my mind, 2 wrongs can’t possibly be right, yet my heart says, ” lets do it!”

The result is ecclectic and strangely, its a piece that’s keeps growing on you. The more I see it , the more I like…. Its now sitting proudly in the atelier showcase. Its special to me as its a testament that however little value you may find in something, there is always something good hidden inside and sometimes it just needed the right match to bring out its best!

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