Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Black Coral Pendant

This is a Black coral pendant that I finished. The two caps are 14kt gold and the center squiggly part is 18kt white gold.
My black coral is all found material.
The guy who collects it and sells it to me, gave me the secret to working this material.
Black coral is not really coral, in the true sense.
It is not as hard as true coral, and does not consist of calcium carbonate.
Instead a thin veneer of animal tissue secretes a horn like protein, and this is used in jewellery.
Now, when I work the coral, it is seldom in the shape I want it.
So then I boil it for about 10 minutes and then it becomes quite soft.
As long as it is hot, I can bend it pretty much into any shape I want.

Then when I have the required shape, I dunk it in cold water and it stays in the shape it was being held in.

More or less.

I finish it off with files, sand paper and a light polish, like one would do with wood.
It is nice stuff to work.
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