Sicily floats as tempting as a jewel in the centre of the Mediterranean and has been shaped by waves of conquests and left tinted by the settlement of differing people's since the 8th century BC. The designs flowed into several sketch books. Mosaics from La Martorana were transposed into jewels sparkling with diamonds Stories of fig trees were retold in gold bracelets to Tamara and my honeycomb for Erice made it golden once again.
My pencil drawings of the intricate geometric patterns had a simplicity that I liked instantly. Surprisingly, I did not want to add colour and imagined only small diamonds set sparkling as the minute tesserae of the mosaics. The La Martorana earrings and necklace pendant are made in white and yellow gold.
In Monreale, the beautiful Norman cathedral on the hill above Palermo, I walked up and down past the railings outside that were decorated with a series of circles with winged tips where the circles met. I half closed my eyes and imagined a flight of angels : Volo d'Angelo. In my Volo d'Angelo jewels I set lapis lazuli, garnets and diamonds where the circles joined in necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
The market bursts my reverie with colour, clamour and life. Blood red agrumi (oranges) and glistening pomegranates call to me irresistibly, just as they did the Goddess Persephone who spent 6 months of the year in Hades because she ate the pomegranate seeds. Everything here in Sicily has a story in this way. I set my pomegranate seeds of lapis lazuli, coral, pearls and turquoise into a bangle and hoop earrings and called the design Persephone as a reminder of the goddess for Sicily is often called: Persephone's Isle.
Santa Rosalia is the patron saint of Palermo for she saved the city from plague. I too wanted to tell her story in my collection of jewels and so I created a ring worthy of such a saint with round facetted soft green peridot in a Trinity of rows held safe by her protective arms recreated in bands of diamonds.