The ‘Frida Kahlo Stones’ are two rather bland stones, one whitish, the other gray, that I picked up on a beach in Costa Rica.
They are distinguished by the fact that they have large natural holes in them. I named them the ‘Frida Kahlo Stones’ because they reminded me of the type of stones featured on the heavy primitive necklaces favoured by Frida Kahlo, the great Mexican artist.
I took the two ‘FK stones’ and played around with them, trying different combinations with a variety of other stones. In the end only crudely-shaped stones looked right with the ‘FK stones’; the rest were too smooth, too modern, too manufactured. Bone was the wrong color; shell seemed to be speaking a different language.
In terms of colour, I loved the orangy reds in the form of carnelian, jasper and coral as well as the turquoise, especially some of my old ‘natural’ turquoise. Most turquoise currently available is impregnated with resin (if not made completely of resin), and has a waxy sheen that looks artifical compared to the ‘FK Stones’. I dug out an old Frida Kahlo calendar. None of the necklaces she wore in the calendar contained any stones that resembled my ‘stones’. However, I noticed that all her necklaces were short chokers, which makes sense when one considers the weight of the larger stones she favoured. I also looked up some Precolumbian necklaces on my favourite antique jewelry site: http://www.oldbeads.com/americas.html
For now I have divided this project into two different necklaces: Project 1: the ‘Stone’ mixed with turquoise. This is just put together with fishing line, very rough. I originally liked the way that the shape of the oval turquoise stones echoed that of ‘The Stone’. Now I’m not so sure. The big stone looks too white and divorced from the rest of the necklace, although the sea urchin spine picks up some white, and I can probably find another spine with a white edge. Maybe add a shell and turquoise dangle. Hmmm…
Project 2: the second Stone mixed with carnelian, jasper and coral. Like the turquoise necklace this is just put together very roughly. I haven’t yet decided whether or not to use coral or brown shell for the small beads (or both?). Actually, I think coral mostly, just for the way it flatters the dull gray of my ‘stone’, with a few of brown shell beads interspersed here and there.