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Custom Bougenvilla Necklace

by Louisa Berky |

This is a very special piece I created for a friend. Her mother passed away a number of years ago and her ashes were put in a silver cross. The cross never held much significance for my friend and thus she rarely wore it. She was hoping to disguise the cross and create an overlay that she would want to wear as a remembrance of her mother. She mentioned that her mother loved bougenvillas, so we started playing around with the design. The flowers & leaves were carved out of wax and then attached to the cross with wires that were later laser welded together. This was one of those projects that I truly wanted to get right, given the amount of personal significance it holds for my friend. Thankfully, she was happy with the results!

Using a small wax lathe to create the original shape of the flower

Outlining the shape of the leaves

Cutting the leaves out

Adding detail

Then creating a matching pair

Created additional leaves and center stamens. Played around with the layout to disguise the cross underneath. 

Figuring out how to attach the overlay to the cross

Once we finalized the design, I sent it off to the caster to be cast in sterling silver. Upon its returned, I polished it to a high shine and had the wires on the back laser welded together, so as not to apply any heat to the cross itself. This was such a meaningful commission and so happy to have met the expectations of my friend.




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