by Anna M Williams
There can’t be too many people who haven’t marvelled at the incredible variety, beauty, superhuman skills, and enviable freedom of birds. They give us joy and wonder and have forever inspired every imaginable kind of artistic expression – especially poetry, music, and painting. That they have been featured in jewellery so often, in so many ways, and in so many cultures isn’t surprising at all.
Our Tasmanian birds are fairly little in comparison to others in mainland Australia, and the iconic Forty Spotted Pardalote and the Orange Bellied Parrot are just two of our twelve endemic bird species. The Forty Spotted Pardalote is very small at approximately 9-10 centimeters long, while an Orange Bellied Parrot is bigger at about 20 centimeters.
As a jewellery designer/maker, I have been keen to find a unique way of celebrating these two beautiful little endangered birds. One of the critical habitats for the Forty Spotted Pardalotes is on North Bruny Island, where many people (including myself) have planted and nurtured the species of eucalyptus (ie the viminalis) which the Forty Spotted Pardalote needs to survive and thrive. Government-sponsored efforts to breed the Orange Bellied Parrots in captivity and in the wild are also showing quite a bit of success, although there is still a long way to go to take both birds off the endangered list.
Both birds have beautiful, typical patterns and I thought it would be interesting to highlight those patterns independently of the overall shape of the birds, in jewellery. I have designed and made a range of earrings with a particular focus on their wing and tummy patterns. The Forty Spotted Pardalote image highlights the spotted wing with just a little of the golden body of the bird visible. The Orange Bellied Parrot image includes that iconic little tiny flash of orange on the bird’s tummy as well as the vivid blue and green on the wings and the golden yellow of its body.
The earrings are circular, domed, and with one exception (the Orange Bellied Parrot stud earrings) have a small drop. The drop earrings range in size from 1.2 to 3.1 centimeters in diameter, and the Orange Bellied Parrot studs are 0.7 centimeters across. The images of their plumage are printed onto Aluminium, and the earrings are backed in Sterling Silver.
Available now in-store and to shop online...