Uniquely designed natural earrings, made from prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), a plant that is well-known in the Mediterranean area.
This pair was made from the natural long narrow leaf shape formations in the cactus fibre. When cutting out the shapes we followed these natural formations. After the several step preparation process we handpainted them with a dark greenish-black paint, highlighting the natural fibre holes with antique gold paint. We completed the design with brass metal connectors and brass colour nickel-free earwires.
WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM?
Each segment of the Opuntia cactus plant has an inner woody skeleton, which has an intricate lace-like structure. When an older segment of the cactus dries, we use the remaining dried inner fibre to create this jewellery for you.
Materials: cactus fibre, nickel-free metal earwires, brass connectors
Colour of metal findings: bronze
Total length: 11cm
After choosing which sections of the cactus fibre we want to use, first, we give them a careful but thorough cleaning. Then, when they are dry again, we study each piece to determine which parts of that piece could be used. It depends on the thickness, sturdiness and structural patterns of it – these features can vary greatly in every different piece.
Next step is cutting and shaping, and when we feel satisfied with the size and shape of a piece, then it needs to go through a several-step treatment to make the fibre stronger and more durable. These treatments take several days before we can move on to the following step, which is the fun part of the process: colouring. We love colours and enjoy mixing our shades, as well as experimenting with different colour-combinations and painting techniques to achieve unique finishes. We never use spray-painting; each piece is 100% hand-painted. To protect the painted coats, all of the pieces get a protective varnish topcoat.
The remaining touch is to breathe life into it: we add the metal connectors, earring hooks or necklace chains, and semi-precious gemstone beads or pearls to complete the design.
Thanks to the amazingly detailed and original patterns of the cactus fibre, as well as the full manual procedure of preparing them, the result is an absolute one-of-a-kind, unique, irreproducible piece of jewellery, exceptional of its kind in the world.
Made on the sun-bathed and wind-swept islands of Malta.
They are safely packed and shipped in a gift box, so can be ideal as gifts for your loved ones.