Bead shows are heaven to a jeweler. Rows and rows of gems along endless aisles surround you with inspiration and potential—it’s almost too much to bear.


It was at the last show that I first came across serpentine. A few strands were by the register of a yellow stone with beautiful black marbling I had never seen before. I loved the triangle it was cut into and on a whim—which is how most new stones make it into my designs—I added the strands to my purchase. When I got back to my studio, I put the bag in my “Yellow Stone” drawer, where it lay in wait for inspiration to hit.


As summer approached 4 months later, I was down in the depths of a local jazz club when the cool, easy music opened my creative coffers. A dozen new designs were scribbled down, and that triangular yellow stone popped up in one.


When I go to my studio to design a new piece, I never know which of my ideas I’ll be drawn to start that day. Apparently on June 24th, that one sketch with the serpentine stone was the one that pulled me in.


As I played with the bead’s triangular shape, I found that three in a row made a beautifully balanced trapezoid. From there my initial rectangular form shifted to a trapezoidal one. After figuring out the dimensions of the wire frame, I went back to exploring stone placement.


From the negative & positive space of wire frame & serpentine, 4 equilateral triangles within one big one appeared in a sort of “minimal” fractal form of expanding symmetry. I laid out a few more and found a design with echoes of ancient and modern influence.




Later the next day, I made what I assumed would be the final necklace. Close to the neck, tips of serpentine pointed out like sunrays. I wore it for the the rest of the day and the next as I always do to try out a new design.


It’s from wearing a piece that I get a better sense of it, which is what led me to decide this necklace would be better long. That evening I headed to the studio and doubled the length for what is now the final version of my first serpentine design.


P.S. In case you are into qualities inherent in stones, serpentine brings its wearer back to the natural flow of the universe…