The Water Lily Necklace

Back in July…

A dear college friend of mine contacted me to tell me about her great aunt who was a jewelry maker and had passed away. My friend wanted to know if her great aunt’s jewelry making supplies were anything I would use.

After at least 30 picture texts to let me pick and choose what I wanted, three large flat rate boxes arrived on my doorstep.

I found myself in awe as I sorted through the treasures. I did not know my friend’s great aunt, but it quickly became evident she had a love for the Chinese culture. 

Among her treasures were Jade Buddha necklaces, Chinese longevity locks (I had to look up what these were), and Tibetan silver…not to mention a plethora of beads, findings and copper sheet metal.

Last week another friend of mine came over for our weekly jewelry making get together. 

We were feeling adventurous and decided to try setting stone on stone. Of course we followed the lead of Francesca Watson of The Makery. As we sorted through my studio for the needed materials, we ran across the perfect flat cabochons. These green stone discs were a part of the stash from my friend’s great aunt. They were perfect for our first time of setting stone on stone!

Starting out, we weren’t sure what our finished product would be. We mostly wanted to see if we could be successful at our brave new adventure. Sure enough they turned out great!

Over the next few days…

I continued to work on my new skill with a necklace in mind. As I pondered how to design the necklace, I noticed the stone on stone settings reminded me of water lilies. It hit me to have the design look like each stone was in its own pond. I used some copper sheet I received from my friend’s great aunt, along with some sterling silver to create a pond setting for the stones. The necklace was coming together nicely, surprisingly without much fuss on the soldering end (whew).

Once I finished the bezels and set the stones I started on the Bow Tie Chain.

I thought it would be a good continuum to mix the metals in the chain as well.

I absolutely loved the way this necklace turned out.

I also love the symbolism of the water lily. In the Chinese culture the water lily is a sacred plant offering love and a place to rest…a reminder to myself to provide a safe place for others to find rest. And, in times of uncertainty in my own life, to go to the sacred space that provides peace and understanding.

In honor of those who have gone before us and to those who are just beginning their jewelry making adventures…

Here is wishing you much love and peace,


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Posted in jewelry making, Jewelry Tips

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