*Shibuichi goldfish centerpiece by Bob Burkett
*Bronze goldfish beads cast from Burkett molds
*Raw Fire Agate chunks
*Poppy Jasper beads
*Sterling spacers, findings, earrings
*Necklace is signed, numbered, dated

Length: 20" - 25" (51 cm - 63 cm) Shown on model at shortest length
Centerpiece diameter: 1.5" (4 cm)
Fire Agate dangle length: 2 3/8" (6 cm)
Weight: 7.1 oz (202 gm)

Earring drop length: 1.5" (4 cm)
Earring weight: 3.5 gm ea (a nickel weighs about 5 gm)

Item #803 - $960 (set)

Necklace and
Earrings - $960:
      Necklace alone

Fire Agate Necklace and Earrings

Fire Agate Necklace
Fire Agate Necklace Detail
Fire Agate Necklace on model
Fire Agate Earrings
Fire Agate Necklace
Hover to zoom, Click to expand

Bob's beautiful shibuichi centerpiece has been in my stash for some time. I've always admired his marvelous work (Lark: if you're listening, why haven't you done a 500 Beads of Robert Burkett volume??) and couldn't pass up these lively fish which I would just as soon keep for myself. The Fire Agates came into my studio recently with a bit of an attitude, knowing they are quite unusual and beautiful in their raw elegance. They poked around my stash, somehow found the centerpiece and demanded to have it. What's a servant of the stones to do? Ahsian mentions in The Book of Stones, "[Fire agate] helps one find the courage to take risks in order to fulfill the inner promptings which call one more fully into passionate involvement with life. It is ideal for awakening one from the stupor of humdrum routine..." so I guess that explains it.

Fire Agate is a curious chalcedony found in our own Southwest and down into northern Mexico. The central dangle displays a bit of the Schiller for which it is named, produced by alternating layers of silica and iron oxide set down 24-36 million years ago during the Tertiary period of intense volcanic activity.

Curiously, there don't seem to be many books in English devoted to shibuichi and other Japanese alloys. Ford Hallam's masterwork will rectify this (search for him on Kickstarter and YouTube), but until then we have to put up with a basic definition: shibuichi is an alloy of 25% silver and 75% copper as described by its name which means "one-forth" in Japanese according to the Wikipedia article. Even that article describes named variations in its composition. As I recall, many, many years ago Bob mentioned he used a slightly different ratio in his work, but I could be mistaken about that, and of course he may well have tried lots of variations over his long career. One can find various forums and research papers where shibuichi is discussed, but we await Ford's monumental study for a comprehensive understanding. "So what?" you ask. The whole point of using different alloys of gold and silver with zillions of different patina solutions is to achieve a wide range of gorgeous colors in metalwork. The Japanese metalworkers used an astonishing array of alloys and patina solutions to produce their magnificent work, to achieve everything from subtle shading to dramatic colors. Here you see how Bob's delicate colors blend beautifully with the Fire Agate. The poppy jasper beads, veering off into red, brighten and complete the composition.

Please check the weight of this necklace, the large fire agates make it a bit heavier than most and won't work for some.