Ocean inspired jewellery

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Mermaids

Mermaids have facinated me since I was a very young child. Holidays abroad were spent in our local swimming pool all day long with my sisters, competing for who could hold their breath for the longest under water. Mastering the skill of sitting motionless on the pool floor for what seemed like ages and swimming submerged for long distances, I became convinced at an early age that I had the ability to breath underwater! I am sure that the TV programme 'The man from Atlantis' had much to do with my imaginery abilitiy.
With inspiration from fond memories and dreams of my underwater exploration I more rececently created a small collection of limited edition silver mermaid's. http://www.pa-pa.co.uk/orig.cfm
Mermaid necklace with real triplet opal set. 
Mermaid cuff bracelet with labradorie stone set.

Sitting mermaid pendant in silver with round labradorite set.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Worm's Head Rhossili Gower

The Worm's Head Gower is the most westerlly point on the Gower Peninsula. You can walk out accross to the end of the Worm on a receeding tide, incoming tide times must be checked first to avoid getting cut off by  deadly currents. It is a rockpoolers heaven with some shallow and deep gullied pools to explore.
Wild rabbits and a few sheep inhabit the small island as well as many hundreds of seabirds and  a colony of grey seals.
A long sandy beach stretches accross from the foot of Rhossili Downs and it's steep cliffs to Broughton. A perigrine falcon is nesting on the cliffs for the second year running and two porpoises were spotted as my husband and I walked the Cliffs one very windy evening last week.
After surfing in Rhossili Bay on tuesday last week and overwhelmed by the beauty of Rhossili's cliffs, the invigorating energy from the waves and the landscape of Worm's Head I felt I needed to share my interpretation of it all in the form of a silver ring. 
Worm's Head wave ring
View more of Pa-pa's Worms Head landscape designs at http://www.pa-pa.co.uk/Rhossili.cfm

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Visiting Gower wildlife in a rockpool

A visit to one one my favourite Bays on Gower over the Easter break allowed me to experiment with my 'go pro' underwater camera. Usually used by our family to take fun shots of us surfing and snorkellingaround Gower  the camera performed well in a flooding rockpool as the incoming tide gushed over the rocks nourishing a beautiful variety of local Gower sealife.

video
I came accross shore crabs, a very inquistive shrimp and sea anenome as well as a rare find - a small sea urchin. http>//www.pa-pa.co.uk/pwlldu.cfm


video
I hope you will agree the flow of water over this underwater landsape is beautiful.

Gower rockpool
video



Friday, 15 April 2011

Dolphins on Gower?

Our visit to the long sandy stretch of Beach at LLangennith, Gower today was full suprises. On our approach to the beach it specled with rain and we were sure our day was going to be a shortened one. As we came over the brow of the hill the clouds opened up to reveal a stunning blue skyline over the Bay. A few ft of surf satisfied a craving for a few waves and a stroll along the sand showed evidence of a 12 meter tide  and many whelk shell egg cases.
I was saddened to have discovered this skelenton at the high tide mark. A small porpoise, dolphin or seal. Can anyone identify it for me? There was no skull and it was pretty much devoid of any flesh.



A lizard baked himself in the afternoon sun in the marram grass of the sand dunes. 
A lizard baked himself in the afternoon sun in the marram grass of the sand dunes.






Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Dolphin jewellery

As the clocks went back to mark the start of British summertime a pod of bottlenose dolphns were seen off the Pembrokeshire coast at Cardigan bay. The last time we spotted dolphins was at Three Cliffs on Gower last summer on dusk. We were in a rib about half a kilometer out to sea and we were lucky enough to see a mother and tiny baby calf  only for a few minutes while they came to the surface to breathe.

These handcrafted dolphin jewellery designs are inspired by a pod of dolphins, playing like children in the waves. Breaking the surface of the water their bodies glistening in the sunshine, then disappearing down into the clear waters of theWelsh coast.

Silver dolphin necklace £75.
She is 7cm long from the dolphins nose to her tail and hangs on leather
New solid silver dolphin ring £65
Dolphin jewellery collection www.pa-pa.co.uk/dolphins.cfm


I was fortunate in 2007 to swim with a wild dolphin on the West Coast of Ireland at a remote stretch of coastline. Myself and my husband were overwhelmed by the playfulness of this beautiful dolphinl. At one point the female dolphin finned down to the sand below and lifted a piece of plastic waste from the ocean floor and presented it to me one the end of her beak not more than twelve inches from my mask. With tears in my eyes I realized I had witnessed something truly ashtonishing.
Silver dolphin necklace commission a similar piece from £165

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gower tides lowest for thirty years

A long walk along the beach from Mewslade, Gower accross to  Fall Bay and out to Tiers piont this friday was a rockpooling paradise. The tides around the British Isles were the lowest they gave been for thirty years this weekend. The glorious sunshine on friday made for a wonderful exploration of  a reefy landscape normally unexposed by higher tides. The rocks were covered with  battered and broken stems of brown kelp, evident of the winter swells of recent weeks that had torn apart these seabed forests. Looking out towards Worm's Head, as the tide dropped back even further, the rocks were supprisingly flat beneath the westerly face of Tiers Point. From Tierspoint  looking out to the east, the rocks are  mixture of five foot deep gullie, holes and deep pools displaying beautiful and dramatic shapes that soften out into flatter ledges, amass with bladder and kelp algaes. The pools were a murky turquoise green, stunning against the dark brown and purple algae where many dog fish egg cases - 'the mermaids purses' were entangled in their stalks.
Deep limestone troughs and gullies at Tiers Point, Gower

Fall Bay reef exposed

Kelp forest at Tier's point facing East

Looking out to Worm's Head fromTier's point
Edible Red crab before we put him back in his hole.



Saturday, 5 March 2011

Gower

The Gower Peninsula is just a ten minute walk from my studio on the edge of the Gower peninsula, South Wales. Born and raised so close to Gowers beautiful beaches and coastal walks  it features very prominently in all aspects of my work as a designer silversmith and in my spare time as a keen watersports enthusiast, nature lover and walker.
My whole family shares my passion for the sea. The whole of  Gower Coast hosts a wonderful variety of wildlife, sealife and marine plants to observe and enjoy.

In 1956 Gower was named as Britain's first area of outstanding natural beauty. One of my favourite paces is Worm's Head at Rhosili. A stunning walk out to the the headland of this most westerly point takes you over barnacle encrusted rocks, grassy banks and steep rock faces To the side of the path seals can be seen enjoying the comfort of seaweed cushioned rocks below and seabirds take refuge on the steep cliffs  facing north.
A translation of Rhosili into english suggests the local name of a stream flowing into the sands from Rhosili hill. Alternatively it could derive from the name Fili, a celtic saint of saint Cenydd's cottage.
Rhosili is rich with history, megalithic tombs and tales of smuggles. At the church of St. Mary the virgin stands the memorial to Edgar Evans who died with Scott in the Antarctic. The wind sept cottages of the village of Rhosili are scattered 200m feet above the dramatic cliff tops.
The vessel called the "Dollar ship" was wrecked in the bay in 1807 remembered famously for it's cargo of silver coins, some of which were uncovered by the tide and found by villagers. The coins were identified as Peruvian dollars of Phillip 4th, thought to be part of the dowry of a Princess Catherine of Braganza. Many ships sank at Rhosilli and at the other end of the bay at Broughton. In 1887 a vessel named the Helvetia, leaves it's skeleton today which is lodged and still exposed at the sands of Rhosili bay.

Silver sea anemone jewellery from U.K designer silversmith Pa-pa.

SEA ANEMONE NECKLACE
To view webpage visit www.pa-pa.co.uk/ANEMONE.CFM
My husband and I walked from Mewslade valley over to Fall Bay and out to Tiers Point yesterday in the sunshine.  On our way back accross the beach I took some photos of my new sea anemome collection of necklaces with a beautiful barnacle and seaweed encrusted rocks in the background. I thought I would share them with you. I have used a blood red garnet to reflect the colour of these jelly like jewels that cling to the rocks with their tentacles withdrawn at low tide. As the tide washes in the sea anemones open to display their flowing locks of stinging celled tentacles that hunt for their next meal.
The snakelock anemones are lovely display of mossy green and pinky purple tipped tentacles which tend to be longer. I have used aquamarine, pink tourmaline and garnet to celebrate this variety of sea anemone.


Silver sea anemone on silver ball chain £60
Pa-pa jewellery 2011

Silver barnacles garnets, turquoise and silver sea anemone necklace.

Friday, 18 February 2011

STARFISH rockpool rings by U.K designer silversmith Pa-pa

The silver barnacle cluster ring .
Inspired by the familiar common acorn barnacle. These tiny crustaceans are free swimming larvae that settle firmly on the rocks from the high water mark downwards around the Gower Penninsula and our Brtitish coast. . Some barnacles were brought to the British Isles on the Hull of Australian ships- Australian barnalces.These Australian barnacles are seen on the surface of rocks near sheltered estuaries near fresh water.
Silver crab with triplet opal and silver barnacles.


                                                               Starfish opal ring with barnacles.