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:: Water Clan Bangle ::

It's fire season in the high desert. As I type this an ocean of smoke is threatening to wash over us from a huge forest fire to the south. Looking at it out of the office doors, the smoke has a strange, hazy iridescence to it that bears an eerie resemblance to the colors of the abalone shell in this bracelet. My workflow tends to respond to the seasonal changes in my work, and lately, with the hot, dry days before the summer monsoon, I've been reaching for pearls, shell, silver...water talismans.

I imagine this to be a talisman of the Water Clan of the desert dreamtime, an assemblage of shell, opal and silver. I began with a sterling bangle that was vigorously hammered on desert stone. Five charms were added to this on fused fine silver links and sterling attachments. The centerpiece is an exquisite fragment of wave-polished abalone shell that was found on a Pacific beach. It is silken to the touch and has the most lustrous rainbow iridescence: colorful without being garish. I found that one of my prized Australian boulder opal beads picks up the shell's colors exactly: veins of breathtaking opal in a sandy white matrix.

There are two antique white shell ornaments from Mauritania in northwest Africa. These are traditionally woven into the hair and into jewelry by the tribal women there. A small drop of fused fine silver is the fifth pendant, hanging from a fused fine silver link chain.

When I oxidized this bracelet, I arrested the patina just as it was getting to the iridescent stage of rainbow colors. After it was sanded to a satiny luster, spots of peacock blue, magenta and golden-rust remained in the hammered areas, echoing the colors of the opal and abalone.

The charms all cluster at the bottom of the bangle when worn, and I really like the way this type of bracelet looks. It's great just by itself, but it also looks fantastic when you layer it with other bangles. This piece is all about flow, and soft, feminine energy, and of course, water. Perfect for summer...and also for moving through the stuck places in your life.

Size: The interior of the bangle measures from 67mm to 70mm. The bangle varies between 2mm and 4mm in width. The charms hang to 42mm below the bangle.

Care: Wash in cool water and dry with a soft cloth. Polish the silver with a jeweler's polishing cloth for shine, and a ScotchBrite pad for matte finish. Avoid using harsh chemicals on shell or opal. Black marks left by the silver on the white shell can be removed with a little rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip.

The Water Clan Bangle will arrive beautifully giftwrapped in a hand-decorated pillow box, along with a handwritten descriptive label.

Frequently asked questions about DesertTalismans

Sorry, my work is one of a kind and I do not accept any custom orders, including requests to recreate previously sold items.
The size of each item is given at the bottom of each listing. The only variations in size are for rings that are adjustable. See the listings for details.
Care instructions are provided at the bottom of each listing.
All items are giftwrapped and carefully packaged for shipping. See my Sample Packaging listing for details.
Sorry, wholesale is not available at this time.
All items and images in the Desert Talismans shop are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form, or in any medium, without the written permission of Dawn Wilson-Enoch

Water Clan Bangle with Antique Shell Bead, Boulder Opal, Abalone Shell and Sterling Charm Bracelet One of a Kind


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: sterling silver, fine silver, abalone shell, white shell, boulder opal
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 617 reviews
  • Favorited by: 174 people