This almost alien Adriatic Crab Carapace Amulet is cast in solid sterling silver. It is 2 1/2" long and 2" across and is the first "life casting" that we have offered in over 30 years. It is available with or without the 22" heavy wheat chain that is pictured. A carapace is a decorative bony or chitinous shield that protects the back and tender underparts of arthropods, such as crustaceans and arachnids. Turtles and tortoises also have carapaces.
What exactly is a “Life Casting” you ask? It is when you take a form from nature and are able to reproduce it in metal by various methods of molding and burning out of the wax or the natural specimen. There were many technical challenges in the instance of this fragile and detailed crab carapace. One has just one chance to do it correctly before the specimen is destroyed or damaged irreparably.
The backstory of this piece begins first with this juvenile crab that fortunately lived and died in the shallow, grassy and sandy Adriatic sea bottom off the coast of Split Croatia. In the summer of 2016, my son John and I took a touristy all day trip from Split to visit 5 nearby islands. Where as the other passengers, sunbathed on the deck of our small boat, both John and i dove into the water to explore what was below. John can hold his breath for some time and he ventured into the undulating sea grass along the sandy bottom and surfaced with this treasure. As we motor onto Havar Island, we discuss jewelry design possibilities for his crab carapace.
The chances of molding this piece successfully were low, so I procrastinated. I prepared the carapace by filling the most extreme undercuts with wax and adding a bail to the specimen. I talked with several of my colleges about various mold compounds, hot versus cold molds and how we might preserve the carapace? Because of the delicacy and intricacy of the specimen, all approaches were discouraging and I put the project on the back burner. I then thought of my long time, old school jeweler friend, Pete Conder and showed him the challenging project. He suggested a new cold mold material and thought that he could make magic happen. He successfully made the mold, cut the crab carapace out and injected several waxes for to be cast. Subsequently, I detailed the waxes and prepared several others for future stone settings. Stay tuned for these.
*Life castings capture the beauty of nature and are an alternative to wearing a real shell which contributes to the demand of commercial shell harvesting and ultimately damages our worlds reef and ocean habitats.
This item usually ships the same or next business day.
All Marty Magic Jewelry is packaged in a beautiful purple box, embossed with the gold foil Marty Magic dragon logo. Perfect for any occasion!
Designed in Santa Cruz, a collaboration between John Bobroskie and Marty Magic
Made in the U.S.A.