Friday, June 12, 2009

My very own Shikon no Tama...

This month I have decided to celebrate Inuyasha's last anime series and last manga books. Yes, it will be over. I will miss it a lot, for I am a big fan of Rumiko Takahashi's work, and especially Inuyasha that I have followed for some years already. This week I will order the last DVD box (series VII). As for the books, I am not sure where it stands so far, and how many more volumes are expected.

Since it's celebration time, and the last shards are to be found soon, I have decided to make my own Shikon jewel. Thus, the name of the piece is simply Shikon no Tama (Jewel of the Four Souls), a globe of light composed by these 4 principles (=souls):

- Courage,
- Wisdom,
- Friendship,
- Love.

I will not go into the plot details though, since it would take a long time. At any rate, if you found this post today, it's probably because you already know Inuyasha anyway! My version of the jewel is a bit elaborate perhaps, in comparison with the original artwork by Takahashi-san. It pretty much complies with my own style of jewellery-making: a bit "baroque" perhaps, mixing several materials and trying to convey a meaning, rather than the object "per se". Thus, if you find that it's not at all like the original Shikon (and most certainly it isn't), please bear in mind that it is simply the result of my own personal interpretation.

Here is my Shikon then:

The following materials have been used:

- One round hand blown Murano glass sphere with gold foil;
- Two faceted Czech crystals surrounding it, with Aurora Borealis coating;
- Several Swarovski bicones and two small pendants in different shades of topaz;
- Several tourmaline chips in shades of forest green, aqua, yellow and pink;
- Several vintage Swarovski molted champagne pearls;
- Small glass pearls in deep green that I brought from Prague last month;
- Small round Czech fire golden beads;
- Toggle gold-plated Bali clasp, all threaded on a metallic champagne wire.

To have a better look at the pictures next, please don't forget to click on the thumbnails to magnify:

Two close-ups of the Bali toggle clasp. The small Czech fire beads and dark green pearls can also be seen.

Two pictures showing close-ups of the Murano focal bead and the faceted Czech crystals, along with other various elements...

The above photos show detailed views of the Swarovski regular and top-drilled bicones, and also the small pearls, Czech fire golden beads and vintage Swarovski pearls. These are quite old, but still have an amazing shine and smooth texture.

These pictures display a nice view of the faceted Czech crystals, as well as some of the bicones and pearls. I have decided to include them because I really like the golden reflections and iridescence generated by the AB coating and facets. A nice play of light.

These three shots focus on the Swarovski vintage pearls. They measure 10mm each. I have included tourmaline chips between them, which made the threading process a bit harder and longer since the holes are too small, as are the chips of course (the smaller they are, the harder it gets to even hold them). Tourmalines are quite expensive when compared to other minerals, but do have a wonderful translucence. The colours (in this case yellow/amber, pink, dark and aqua green) go really well together - to my surprise, I must say!

More detailed shots of the tourmaline chips... and, below, two more views of the piece:


  1. Hi Andrea.

    What a lovely neclace!

    Your view on Shikon-no-tama is very impressive.
    According to the books, 4 elements(Courage, Wisdom, Friendship, and Love)got together and then we can have True Heart, true spirituality( as far as i remember, wasn't the story like this? maybe a little different). I haven't read all the volumes yet....

    You've chosen a lovely round hand blown Murano glass sphere with gold foil as a symbol of Heart?
    It's only my personal view, though I have been wondering if Heart is like something radiating beautiful golden light(metaphor...) So....

    Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed this post!!

  2. Hello Andrea! Just wanted to say hi....I think you have a great blog....I enjoy to look at all you lovely necleces. Thanks! I have to say that the vintage fioratto beads are the most wonderful ones I've ever seen. where do you buy them? They are so fine and delicate!

  3. Dear Sapphire!
    These are exquisite images! I should make an Ajisai necklace, no?
    I especially love the wagashi, they not only look super-pretty but must be delicious too, aaaaahhhh...
    Sapphire: have you already tasted the new Macha Diet Coke? If so, is it any good? I was thinking about ordering one or two bottles from JList! What do you think?
    I loved the comments to my Shikon no Tama, thank you! Yes, it's the True Heart, purified, and used "by a good person", with pure feelings! :)
    The golden light you mention... In Brasil, we say that someone "has a heart of gold", when that person is nice and generous. It's exactly that!
    Thank you so, so much once again for your comments and the wonderful post!

  4. Dear Aputsiaq:
    Hi! And thank you so much for the lovely comment! I am now a follower of your blog, which is amazing. Thank you so much for posting such wonderful images, it's always delightful!
    I am glad you like the necklaces.
    I normally get my beads from eBay, and I am always searching for nice fioratto ones. But I also buy old necklaces and recycle them, ie, re-use the beads in new creations.
    I buy a lot as well in Brasil (I am from there) and went to Prague last month, where I got a lot as well. Friends also get them for me when they see something interesting and in good condition!
    The modern Murano I also get from eBay, as well as the Swarovski crystals, but again, you can find them in Rio, in Antique shops or in auctions too.I don't have good Murano fioratto to be found in Dublin though (unfortunately!), that's why I am always searching for it!
    Again, a million thanks for the lovely comment and talk to you soon!
    (Will look at your blog later!),

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've never tried eBay! Beads are like small fairy tales each and every one...sometimes I think can see a 'small world of beauty' in all of them ;O)

  6. Hi Andrea.

    I forgot to tell you that Toraya has a branch shop in Paris. So if you have an opportunity to visit Paris, why don't you drop in at the shop? Toraya is one of the best wagashi shops in Japan. URL is:

    I can't wait to see your Ajisai necklace.

  7. Hi Sapphire!
    I would love to go and visit Toraya.
    I bookmarked the link by the way.
    I know Minamoto Kitchoan in London and love it. Especially the tsuya, aaaahhh, so yummy...
    And yokan, and sakuranbo, and...
    Everything, really!