Lode is my third design inspired by the story of the famous treasure
hunt by Mel Fisher for the sunken Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora
de Atocha. On July 20th, 1985 Mel's team, after a 16-year search,
finally found the Atocha Mother Lode. Mel's mantra "Today's
the day!" finally paid off, big time.
The Atocha was
the richest of the 28 ships in the Tierra Firme Fleet that were
preparing to depart Havana, Cuba for their home country, Spain,
on September 4th, 1622. She was the military escort for the fleet,
so was responsible for defending the fleet from piracy, both
private and government-sponsored, which was common. Not only
was she carrying her precious cargo of goods she also carried
wealthy passengers, statesman, clergy and a few slaves.
the fleet was six weeks behind schedule. Only a few days out
to sea on their homeward bound journey, the Atocha, along with
four other galleons in the fleet, were hit hard by a hurricane
and sank off the coast of Key West in September of the same year.
The holds of
the Atocha carried the wealth of an Empire, consisting of gold
and emeralds from Columbia, silver from Peru and Mexico, pearls
from Venezuela, and gemstones from Brazil. Her astonishing cargo
also included 125 gold bars, discs and money chains; 24 tons
of silver bullion in the form of ingots and silver coins; dozens
of chest of emeralds (uncut, with few inclusions and a deep herbal-green
color) and other gemstones; chests of indigo, copper ingots,
bales of tobacco, and 1200 pounds of worked silverware!
stitch tube, worked in a spiral, represents the Atocha's stash
of what they called "money chains". These were beautiful
chains of gold, and each link represented an average workers
yearly wage. Filling the space between the spirals, are five
shapes, beginning with the cushion-cut CZ center. This component
has a simple bezel that is extended to create a more "coin-like"
shape. The next component is a marriage of three parts. A beautiful
flat metal ring, set with Swarovski crystals, is bezeled and
fed onto to a Swarovski pearl stem that allows the metal ring
to rotate. The pearl stem is then extended and built around the
metal ring representing another coin shape. The last component
is a trillion CZ, simply bezeled, representing the loose emeralds
and gemstones found on the Atocha. All of the components are
confined within the "money-chain" tubes and end with
a beautiful Swarovski embellished metal clasp and a beaded safety
Skill level: This workshop is designed
for the intermediate to advanced student. You must be comfortable
with peyote stitch.
Bracelet length: 7 ½ inches long
Workshop: This is a 2-day workshop