If you’ve ever spent time padding barefoot along a beach seeking seashells, then you probably know the singular glee of discovering a sea urchin shell.
With the sand between your toes and the sound of ocean waves breaking in your ears, you probably weren’t thinking about the rich history we share with these shells—how people have treasured them for centuries and have worn them as protective amulets since medieval times. Of course, I didn’t know any of that in my early beachcombing days. All I knew was that whenever I was lucky enough to find one, I couldn’t stop running my fingers over its bumpy surface or staring at its symmetrical, otherworldly patterns.
Now that I’ve figured out a way to uniquely adapt sea urchin shells to my silver casting process, I’ve fallen in love with that amazing texture all over again. And I hope you like it too.
I cast these disc earrings in sterling silver, then gilded them using an ancient Korean gilding technique called Keum-boo. I love how the gold swirls enhance the sea urchin texture and add a flash of color.
Material: recycled sterling silver and 23.5-karat gold
Earring size: 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch