It's been several years since I made this necklace, but due to ever-changing technology I was locked out of several years' worth of files. After getting some tech help I can finally tell you about it. (I've saved up several blogs to share and now that I have images, I'll be posting more often.)
I was commissioned to make a suite of jewelry based on the feathers of a beloved pet. Sparky is a beautiful Pionus parrot who "sparked" (pardon the pun) a whole new set of ideas for me.
Of course, when I made the Sparky necklace, I thought how amazing an entire collar of feathers would look, so decided to figure out the engineering of such a piece and jumped in. With so much weight in the front, I added a counterweight to the back, which is removable and adjustable. The necklace may be worn all together, or for daily wear the counterweight may be removed and worn on its own as a pendant. With matching earrings, of course.
My color inspiration came from the feathers of a red and green macaw:
I commissioned Karen Healy, a local box maker, to create a Shaker-style bentwood box for it:
As featured on the cover of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads catalogue: