“Green Cattleya” pin/pendant, $2,200
Sifted enamel on fine silver with a South Sea cultured pearl and 24 K gold foil fired in place. It took a while to figure out how to do this; I ended up riveting all of the pieces together and soldering on all of the findings before I fired it. I still use nickel joints because they work so damn well and hold up in the kiln better than silver, and nickel stems have more strength than even hardened silver wire does. I repaired old jewelry for over a decade, and nickel findings hold up the best with minimal oxidation. The silver findings wear out faster and turn black, which can stain clothes. This piece won a first place at last years Indian Market. I just love David Freda’s enameled orchids, as well as the antique ones Tiffany did a century ago. In the desert I have a hard time keeping orchids going, but I just love them! There’s New Earth Orchids nearby and I adore going to the greenhouse and smelling, touching, and taking pictures of all if the different species. It’s one if my happy places. I went to Hawaii once, which is where the shop owner has his grown, and they were everywhere. In the hotel lobby, gift shops, and in Mai Thais. I’ve also always wanted to go to the Amazon rainforest and spend time with the indigenous people there. Jungles are awesome. No deep personal story here, I just love immortalizing ephemeral beauty when I can.