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Spiral Bean Pendant

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Carved "Columbus bean" pendant. Two inches high, about 3/4 inch thick. The carving goes all the way around; this shows the two flat sides. The inside is hollow.

This is a real bean, though a giant one, from a beanpod like the ones that more familiar beans and peas are from. The particular bean plant this is from, is a tropical one called "monkey ladder vine". The outer shell of these beans is very thick and hard, and the interior is mostly hollow, so if they fall into the water they can drift for thousands of miles. Supposedly, one of these that had drifted to Europe was used by Christopher Columbus as proof that there was land across the Atlantic Ocean (though he was sure it was Asia over here). There are several varieties, including somewhat heart-shaped ones called "sea hearts".
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Wyrdhaven's avatar
I love this one.
Which makes me wish I wasn't so broke. :)

If you ever feel like trading spirally carved necklace/bead/thingy/bits with me some time, let me know and tell me if you have a materials preference.
DonSimpson's avatar
Maybe around the middle of 2012. Things are too weird right now.
Wyrdhaven's avatar
:D I'd be delighted to wait if there is a chance of that happening.
DonSimpson's avatar
There's definitely a chance, particularly if you remind me then. :)
Wyrdhaven's avatar
Count on it! You know I love your work, and I'm flattered that you are open to the idea. You want me to ping you about it around midsummer?
DonSimpson's avatar
Wyrdhaven's avatar
Midsummer ping! :)
DonSimpson's avatar
I am pung. :) I'll reply to your note.
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inchworm's avatar
This is really nice. I'd love to know what culture those carved patterns are from. I can see some familiar imagery in there. Kind of reminds me of Keith Haring in a way too :D
DonSimpson's avatar
This isn't intended as any particular culture; I just sat down and started carving. I think the result was strongly influenced by neolithic art, Maori carvings, and some of the Art Deco artists who were fond of spirals. My mind is crammed so full of all the art I've seen that I'ts hard to say.
inchworm's avatar
Yes I saw some Maori type patterns in there, the koru or fern frond design :)
DonSimpson's avatar
I'm strongly influenced by Edgar Brandt.
inchworm's avatar
Ah yes, art deco. Now that you say it, I can definately see the influence :)
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