As an artist I like my artworks to tell stories and I often use discarded materials. I have been collecting old pearl necklaces from boot fairs and junk shops for a few years knowing that one day I was going to build a couple of huge galleons from them!

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I was inspired to make the galleons after watching a documentary about a factory in China which manufacturers every kind of conceivable pearl adornment in colossal quantities. I decided to make two Chinese sailing junks cruising on a tangled never ending sea of wedding tiaras, chokers and earrings!

Eventually last Spring I had enough for my project and I got to work! First of all I built a metal structure on which to hang the necklaces and then over the course of the year I slowly threaded and weaved the beads to build up my galleons. Pearl bracelets and bangles were used for portholes and pearl tiaras for sails. For the rigging I found strings of tiny pearl seed beads were perfect and I secured them with beautiful pearl brooches. My favorite part is the sea – a heaving tangled mass of pearls!

I called the sculptures Wing Wo Wave and White Cloud City – after two of the largest pearl factories in China!

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Two Galleons sailing on a sea of pearls!

I called this one Wing Wo Wave

A sea of pearl necklaces

I called this one White Cloud City

Heres the bow of the galleon

Pearl bangles make great portholes

Sails made from brooches and tiaras

A sea bird flies by

And one last detail!