On one of my visits to NZ I picked up some gorgeous pieces of pink mussel shell, all that had been drilled to be used as pendants. One piece was quite a bit larger than the others and was a good pendant size, the other pieces were smaller and had all been corner drilled.
I decided to come up with a necklace design that used all the drilled pieces of shell together. The first decision was how to actually hang them from the necklace. I wanted to ensure that they all hang freely, and clear of each other so that each piece could be clearly seen. I therefore decided to create a frame from which to suspend the shell pieces.
Using sterling silver wire I therefore wrapped three pieces of wire together shaping them as I went to create a swirly frame from which all the pink mussel could be suspended.
I then had to decide how to complete the chain of the necklace. I decided that fresh water pearls would be a good match with the mussel shell. Initially I tried pink dyed pearls but these tended to clash with rather than compliment the shells, the pink of the shells being such a delicate shade of pink. I therefore tried with some natural coloured pearls and decided that these worked well. Each fresh water pearl was therefore set on sterling silver links.
Finally the clasp, with the necklace having a major wire wrapped component to it with the initial frame, I knew a bought clasp just wouldn't look right. I therefore wired together my own toggle style of clasp.
So, after my play with my shells, I ended up with my new necklace design - my Pink Mussel and Freshwater Pearl Necklace.