My Chinese Apothecary Chest: in 1994, it arrived via container to California from Hong Kong, where I discovered beading during my husband’s ex-pat assignment. Serves as the repository for my beads. Handcrafted. It has 52 Drawers, mostly sorted by color.
2017 Challenge: Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time. Voila! 52 Necklaces!
Week 33/Drawer 33: August 16, 2017: “Yin and Yang”
I’m really going out on a limb this week as I attempt to make a case that my necklace embodies the principle of Yin and Yang. I will state it was an after-the-fact discovery as I stared at my finished necklace while searching for a title from my collection of pithy phrases.
Yin and Yang is a fundamental, ancient Chinese philosophy which states all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites (young-old, dark-light, etc.). These opposites attract and complement each other, and as the icon’s small dots illustrate, each side has an element of the other…which is my necklace!
What I didn’t know until I researched it was Yin is feminine, black, provides spirit, is the winter solstice, orange, a tiger and many other attributes. Yang is masculine, white, provides form, is the summer solstice, blue, a dragon, and more. I think I did marry the opposites by placing one after another, allowing them to attract and complement each other.
The necklace features two melon beads—marked by a distinctive ridged surface which gives the look of a melon. The larger ones are antique dyed onyx melon beads carved in Bali and its ridges reflect the roughed-up onyx au naturel. The smaller beads are Chinese silver—they add lots of nickel which accounts for the dark silver color—with blue enamel applied to the ridges. One example of yin and yang is the blue teal of the dyed onyx becomes the blue teal of the Chinese ridge.
I used small sterling silver spacers plus sterling silver wire to attach the centerpiece bead plus a hand-crafted sterling clasp.
The necklace is 20” long and the center dangle falls 1.75”. Wear your silver earrings with it; large or small will look good. It is $99.
P.S.: I bought the onyx beads in Bali during our 1993-4 Southeast Asia sojourn. Don and I returned to Bali about five years later. It is idyllic and beautiful. I will declare it to be my favorite Southeast Asia destination. If you are curious, Venice is my favorite Western destination!