Tag Archives: handmade jewelry progress

Willa’s Journey – Part Three (Final Installment)

Part Three and the final installment of Willa’s Journey, the pendant that wanted to tell a story. It all comes together here, and we find out how the pendant found it’s name and it’s new owner – in Australia!
But first, another story-within-the story – there was this little beautiful brass clock component I really wanted to use in the piece, but it was crooked. So I wanted to re-design and re-fabricate it out of silver. I probably could have made it work, but I just cannot stand imperfection – unless I am the master of it!!!

Willa's Journey progress photo by Nancy Lee
Willa’s Journey progress photo by Nancy Lee

So, I took that piece and made the new element, used bridal veil netting to run a pattern on it and the brass piece that embellished it (in a milling machine), then needed something – a stone – to set in it. I had picked out a synthetic blue sapphire that would have been fine. But then, while rummaging through my stones, I remembered the raw emerald. This emerald came to me via my sister Janet, in the form of a stone polishing outfit she gave me many years ago. It came in a box with lots of supplies and doodads. Floating at the bottom of the box was a little plastic vial with the raw emerald. I was pretty excited! OK, it’s not Crown Jewels grade, but it’s pretty sweet. I took the emerald and used my diamond tool bits to clean up the edges and refine it. But I questioned my decision to add it to this piece. Wouldn’t the synthetic sapphire do as well? I can always get more of them, but this little green beauty is one of a kind. I may or may not ever see another like it that fits this element so perfectly.
I decided to go for it, and at that moment, recalled the Willa Cather novel (Death Comes for the Archbishop), the decision to sacrifice a good element to the bigger story, and never looked back. In one fell swoop, I had my design and my piece had titled itself “Willa’s Journey.” Sometimes you just know that something is good.
I posted the picture of the completed pendant on Facebook, and it caused a stir. Conversations began with a friend that I was taking an online class with. After many emails, the pendant arrived at her new home – Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. You might imagine the thrill (and relief) I felt when my friend sent me this email:

Nancy…..it arrived!! It’s so beautiful. I love it more in person than I did in the photo. I had to put it on immediately of course. It’s so “me”.
Thankyou thankyou thankyou. Kind Regards, Michelle H.

Willas Journey Pendant
Willas Journey Pendant, photo by Nancy Lee
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