Squeaking in under the wire a bit with this one! I'm reposting here most of what I posted in my LJ relating to this, so some of the explantion and links may seem a bit obvious, but bear with me!
The shape of the pendant is based on a tsuba, which the free dictionary describes as, "artistically the most noteworthy part of a Japanese battle sword. The tsuba protected the hand and corresponded to the European sword guard. It was usually a round or oval plate with narrow openings in the center. Beginning in the 13th century tsubas were decorated with carved openwork and inlay.
" In addition, wikipedia has an entry, should you wish to know more
, scroll down for the tsuba part, although the whole thing is worth a thorough read.
So, now you know what a tsuba is (if you didn't already!), here's the one I based my design on
. Pretty, ne? That particular one is by "Tadamasa", which is where the masterpiece bit comes in. This site
lists master tsuba makers and says, " It's generally believed that "Tadamasa", the beginner of Akasaka-Tsuba, was an tsuba craftsman for Kyo-Zukashi in Kyoto. He came to Akasaka in Edo and started making tsuba there. The feature of Akasaka-Tsuba is round shape, round rim openworked."
So, that's the masterpiece part. The Gackt part comes from this kimono design
, scroll down til you see Ketsumyaku and click, from the GacktxNemuri Kimono Project, which is in collaboration with the Nemuri Project and which features yukata and kimono with designs supervised and produced by Gackt. Ketsumyaku is translated as "blood vessel" or even "blood ties" (translation credit given in my LJ post) and meaning in this case, veins.
Gackt is also involved here too as the male part of the design, the tsuba being sometimes seen as the 'female' part of the sword, the guarding, protective part. I wanted to show Gackt as samurai in this design, the warrior poet and fierce defender of Japan, the yang to the yin of the tsuba, aggressively male and yet with the intent to protect, seen in Gackt's portrayal of Uesugi Kenshin and Nemuri Kyoshiro. Yes, I realise that sounds arty and pretentious, but it isn't meant to be, it was truly what inspired me.
So, having said all that, here is my offering based on all of the above. The pendant is silver, with the Ketsumyaku inspired part of the design given a fine layer of 18ct gold to make it more fully the "bright positive masculine principle" of yang against the background of the softer, recessed yin of the tsuba design.
I gave the whole pendant, which is 4cm in diameter, an oxidised patina to give it the appearance of age and allowed some of the marks of making to remain, to make it appear to have been dug up or unearthed from some family's precious store of treasures. I'm a romantic like that.
Oh and finally, the stone is a four ray diopside. I know Gackt gives onyx bracelets to those he cares about but I didn't have an onyx cab of the right size for this design, however, the diopside captures the colour of onyx and it also makes the pendant look a bit like a star among clouds and lightning, a reflection of the strong influence of nature on the outlook and mindset of a lot of Japanese art.( More piccies under here )
Phew, time to go have some tea and keel over!
And just to add, after a gentle prompting by our general, should you feel the burning desire to own this, it's up for sale, see the end of the post in my LJ here
. Similarly, I can design one for you based on your own ideas and wishes, just ask me!