I'm in love with the desert, its vulnerability, and its strange beauty. I've spent this year searching for ways to bring those qualities to jewelry, starting with the cactus spines, and finishing with these mesquite pods. They're cast in bronze and then painstakingly patinaed deep greens, blues, and teals over the course of a week for each pod. Each one is individually cast from a single pod, never to again be duplicated, which is why each is numbered (in this case, they're etched on the "back side"). For these necklaces, I've selected the smaller pods - closer to 2" long - and have drilled a spot for a bright bronze bail. They hang on 30" of double-stranded bronze chain and have a little fringe that dangles with them.
Though they remind me a bit of pea pods, these pods are from the mesquite tree, which is native to the Sonoran desert and essential to life here. These very pods were ground into a crucial flour for native peoples and which is still used today for baking and cooking. The trees act as nurse plants for small nascent cacti, that aren't yet prepared for the intense desert sun.
I've hand selected each one and hope that you'll find their beauty just as satisfying and remarkable as I do. The patinaed pods are sealed, but will slowly burnish over time, exposing small spots of the bronze on the bottom (as seen in the photo above!). The bronze pods, on the other hand, are unsealed, so their color will slowly deepen and get richer, while any raised spots that are regularly touched will remain bright.