Earlier this year I posted about how and why I have begun incorporating natural materials other than stones (e.g. horn, bone, wood, and seeds) into my pieces. I’ve been continuing this trend in recent months and wanted to share with you my love of the nickernut seed.
Also called bugbog seeds, eaglestones, or sea beans, because they float and wash up on beaches, gray nickernuts come from a tropical, leguminous shrub commonly called the warri tree. These dove gray seeds have subtle lines around them similar to wood grain. They are hollow, extremely lightweight, and carry a subtle beauty.
My excitement over these little nuggets of goodness goes back a few years to an early spring day when I was traveling along a local highway that winds along a river (Route 8 for you Connecticut folks). As I accelerated up the on-ramp, I noticed the most amazing juxtaposition of colors created by the exposed light gray rock ledge that lined one edge of the roadway and the fresh, verdant flora beginning to show itself in patches along the rocks. I immediately thought, “I want to make a necklace with that!”
When I returned to my studio, the gray stones I had just didn’t look good with the green stones in my inventory. Two other gray stones, cat’s eye and labradorite were both too cool and silvery in hue – leaning toward blue, in the case of labradorite, and green for cat’s eye. I didn’t give up hope but decided to table the idea until the proper color combination revealed itself.
Fast-forward to this spring and my search for lightweight, natural materials, and voila! I discovered that the nickernut seed provides exactly the color I've been searching for. When I saw pictures of them perfectly nestled as a pair in that spooky, spiky pod, I was in love. They are downright a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e in their pods!
What about that green and gray necklace?, you ask. It sold quickly, but there is a new incarnation, Clethra, up on the website that incorporates golden horn and keshi pearls to create a perfect triumvirate of color that will complement so many outfits and necklines. A very classic combination.