Anatomical Cameos and Elegant Arteries

New jewelry on the website today; it's been a long time coming but the silver and bloodstone cameo and the new Circle of Willis pendant have been polished within an inch of their lives, photographed, and fitted for presentation boxes. If this sounds like I'm talking about getting the children ready to meet the Queen, that would be about right. It's been a long road from conception to completion.

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I've been intrigued by the idea of making the circuit of small arteries found at the base of the brain called the Circle of Willis into jewelry for a long time. It's one of those complex but fundamental anatomical areas who's clinical and physiological significance rival their abstract beauty. The brachial plexus is another of those and I've got works based on that anatomical feature in development too. My silver Circle of Willis began life as a stand-alone pendant, a sinuous medallion with a jump ring off each of the left and right middle cerebral arteries. But I wanted to try for a more delicate feel after illustrating this area in the context of cardiac and neuro surgeries. And this more delicate silver needed support, which is provided in the form of an opalescent moonstone.

The anatomical cameo uses it's stone for color contrast rather than for support. The evocatively named bloodstone is essentially green jasper with inclusions of iron oxide that appear as red streaks through the stone. The technique I've used to create this piece, mounting cast silver on the prepolished stone, is admittedly not traditional cameo construction. Cameos used to be hand carved from a single piece of two-toned stone or shell and more recently machine-made, sometimes in glass for expediency. But seeing as my figure is in cross section detailing brain, esophagus, larynx, sinuses, and vertebral column rather than a pretty face in profile, I thought it was OK to go ahead and take that break with tradition a little further.

Back to the workbench for now, must see where the brachial plexus takes me. One final note, I've opened an Etsy.com shop under the name AnatomyArt. I will be stocking it with some of the same jewelry I have here on my website but also with one off pieces, experimental or new work that may not fit in with the Bioperspective line. Hope to see you there!
-bc

'Anatomica' cameo, sterling silver on bloodstone
Circle of Willis on moonstone

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