In the distant past I made a bunch of pendants I called “Floating Treasures.” These were loosely based upon kagamibuta style netsuke. Kagamibuta netsuke became popular in Japan after the wearing of swords was banned, and the metal artisans who spent their lives creating the wonderful sword furniture we admire today became unemployed, and turned their skills to decorative items. Most had a highly decorated metal lid on a non-metal bowl, with a central cord hole (himotoshi).
I’ve always thought kagamibuta would make an excellent pendants, but the awkward cord mounting system precluded their use. I set out to blend the best aspects of kagamibuta netsuke and make a new style of pendants, and called them “Floating Treasures” since the decorated part seems to “float” in the center of the bowl.
Above is an image of the components of one of my floating treasures, (shown from the left) 1. the bowl, 2. a small spacer and 3. the “floating” plate (shown here upside down). These were originally made of wood, fossil ivory, antler, and maybe a tiny bit of metal work, but I could never figure out how the make the bowls of metal. Recently, I broke that code.
The above three images are an inlaid dragonfly I’m currently working on, with a silver bowl, and a steel “floating” plate, with inlaid components of copper and .999 fine silver. Two of the dragonfly wings are inlaid, with two left to go.
The difficulty in making the bowl wasn’t the initial cup forming portion, but the ability to bend the edges of the bowl over and back into the center of the bowl, and I finally figured that part out.