“Guardian of the Empire” Necklace

“Guardian” sketch

This is the beginning of a rather elaborate necklace that I am calling “Guardian of the Empire,” because of its Art Deco qualities—black and white diamonds, strong color palette, geometric composition, symmetry. This piece references New York’s Empire State Building in it’s name. In keeping with the theme of my amuletic works, it acts as a guardian for the wearer.

Computer sketch in Rhino
Computer sketch in Rhino

I started with the basics, pencil on tracing paper, outlining dimensions, stone sizes as much as possible. Since this piece is fairly geometric, I decided to draw it digitally using Rhino 3D modeling software, creating templates for the granulations and cloisonnés.

Fusing 22g 22k gold wire
Fusing 22g 22k gold wire

The base metal for the granulations is 30g 22k gold and the outline wires are 22g 22k gold. Using a square file to cut tiny V’s in the wire allowed me to make crisp bends. The ends were fused (not soldered) together.

In my next post about this necklace, I’ll look at making the bezels for the twelve enamels.