Feature Designer

One way to get noticed as a jewelry designer is to use unusual material. OctopusME! makes jewelry from real octopus tentacles, yes those eight-legged denizens from the sea! The sushi grade tentacles are cast in sterling silver and oxidised. The OctopusME! series is the creation of an Etsy artisan from San Francisco.

As OctopusME! says, "The Octopus is a symbol of Transformation and Regeneration." When a tentacle is lost, the octopus is able to regenerate the limb. It is also a master of disguise as it is able to change its colours to match its natural surroundings. The octopus also uses ink discharges to make good its escape from predators. Recently scientists have discovered that the octopus really has two "legs" and six "arms".

But beware of the beautiful blue-ringed octopi from Australia. They may not be very big but they are deadly because they exude a powerful neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin, the same toxin as in Pacific puffer fish species. The latter are better known as fugu, the Japanese exotic dish which sometimes kills.

Her designs feature the distinctive tentacles, suckers and all as pendants and as earrings on studs. Sometimes just the suckers are featured as in the Octopus Sucker Ring. The wax version of the sucker was hollowed out to form the finger hole. After casting in silver, the artisan added some of the textures by hand. Her beautiful blue topaz gemstone and octopus sucker ring and her octopus journey earrings are my favourites. I liked how she combined different sized suckers to form the ring's focal pieces and the cascade of suckers in her earrings. Truly unique!

If you like octopi, the whole deal, then check out this white crystal octopus pendant (lower left) designed by Jami Rodriguez or the all sterling silver creation (lower right) by Leslie Hamon in her Femme Metale collection line on Couture Candy.

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