Summer Now, South of the Equator

Cold Fusion ©Patricia C Vener Extra long draping fringe dark blue and green

Cold Fusion ©Patricia C Vener

It’s Summer in the southern hemisphere. Hot in the southern temperate zone while the northern temperate zone shivers. Of course six months ago things were reversed, so it’s fair, I think. Once, I was in Chile in February. Instead of a snow storm I got sun poisoning for my birthday.

When I was very young I decided to dig a hole to the other side of the world. I didn’t get very far. On the other hand, strip and pit mines do get pretty far but it takes time, work, and a desire to scar the Earth in order to glean the minerals you want. Chuquicamata is the largest working open pit copper mine in the world (though not the largest of all open pit mines. That distinction belongs to the now closed Bingham Canyon Copper Mine in Utah in the USA). Copper is an element that is part of the chemical make up of both minerals, Azurite and Malachite. These soft stones have been used in jewelry for a long time and their colors are distinctively rich.

Malachite is unique for its green banding, light then dark in graceful alternating swirls of varying widths. Azurite is a blue of such depth you could fall into the color and forget to emerge. My necklace, “Cold Fusion,” uses these colors but instead of soft minerals, I used silverlined bugle and seed beads to create a slippery wash of these colors with contrasts of texture. This is a single fringe bib style with a long draping bib that curves around the shoulders, distributing the weight of the piece for a more comfortable wear. There is a mathematical precision to the textural work that is softened by the wearer’s motion. Thus, the wearer becomes part of the piece.

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