Jewel-encrusted snails!

So, Valerie emails to tell me she’s had a great jewelry idea for me to make and sell:  “jewel-encrusted snails!”

Valerie has exceptional taste, and so I know that what she’s imagining must be beautiful, but those three words strike me as incredibly funny:  Jewel-encrusted snails!  One can never anticipate jewel-encrusted snails! being any part of one’s day, can one?  No.

I call Valerie to discuss.

I don’t really want to make jewel-encrusted snails!, I tell her, but I’d be happy to help her craft her own design if she wanted to come down for a visit.  We go over the logistics of her idea:  How jewel-encrusted? How would the stones be set? How snaily?  Val makes a list of the things I tell her to remember as she designs, and she gets off the phone to start sketching.

When I receive her sketches, I struggle to consider them with the proper gravitas they deserve.  Her idea is lovely and interesting and workable: tiny little snails in bejeweled shells.  And yet….  jewel-encrusted snails! It makes me giggle every time I think it.

Valerie calls me to see what I think of her sketches.   Is this a silly idea?  No.  Do I think it would be pretty?  Yes!  We discuss casting vs. fabrication, and maybe simplifying the idea a bit; this will be the first metal project she’s ever attempted, and I want her to start with a design that won’t be overwhelmingly complicated.

“But you like the idea?” Val asks.

“Yes, I really do,”  I say.  And I do, very much!  “I’ve seen insect jewelry kind of like what you’re talking about, and it’s really beautiful.   I totally think you can do this, but it’ll be challenging.”

We rough out plans for her to come down and spend a week learning metal, and I tell her that her design has me thinking:  what about expanding on her idea of jewel-encrusted snails!, and doing other creatures, as well?  Maybe more shelled creatures, or sea creatures, and create a whole group of jewel-encrusted creepies?

“Oh, I like that!  Maybe little shrimp earrings? Or jellyfish?”

“Exactly!  What about… squid?”

“Ohhh, that could be very pretty–“

“Here, ” I say, “Karen sketched out one of my ideas for me.  She’s so much better at illustrating than I am.  Don’t feel like you have to go with this–it’s just an idea.   Let me scan it and email it to you.  Hold on…..”

Jewel-encrusted octopus with breast-cupping tentacles!


9 thoughts on “Jewel-encrusted snails!

  1. I think it’s a wonderfully designed sketch of the octopus jewelry ever think of creating a dress around it to wear let’s say the MTV music awards

  2. I still would LOVE to see some ink coming out of the octopus. How would you accomplish that? By the way, Katie, I think the breast cupping tentacles would be very sexy. Not that I am a man, but I would venture to say, if the woman wearing your necklace was well endowed, what man would NOT want to be that breast cupping tentacled octopus at least for a moment.

    1. I feel you’re slandering my jewel-encrusted octopus with breast-cupping tentacles. My octopus is both dazzlingly beautiful AND practical, Valerie Jane! I’m hurt, because I was making this for you for your birthday.

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