November 12, 2012
So what does shark teeth have to do with silversmithing? Well, as much as you want to have it.
During high school, many many years ago I was fascinated with sharks. They were one of my favorite subjects to draw and I was thrilled when “Jaws” came out. I even purchased a shark’s tooth… it was a tiger shark’s tooth, not a great white and I wore it everywhere all of the time. Then during college it went into my jewelry box and really didn’t come out again until September of 2011.
When selecting my project, I was inspired by some great white shark teeth that had been capped. So I went digging through my stash of old jewelry that was relegated to a sealable baggie hoping to find that old tooth. There it was on it’s stiff, old green leather cord with a couple of red pony beads. Yellowed by time and my body chemistry, it still was intact.
After removing the small, eyelet screw from the top of it, the tooth was ready to be capped with sterling silver and to have my twisted sense of humor added. After creating the cap with the bail, I added a bezel cup to handle a deep red garnet cabochon to represent a drop of blood. While it disturbs some people, I feel that the garnet gives a touch of reality to the tooth since the tiger shark is one of the top ten deadly species out of 460 species of sharks.
Today, I’ve finished up 3 more shark teeth pendants. However, instead of going back a few decades, I’ve gone back many centuries. I completed 2 Lamna Otodus Obliquus pendants. This is one of the earliest mackerel sharks (has to do with their shape and not what they eat). These shark teeth are found predominately in Morocco. I like the cusplets that they have.
The last pendant that I completed is considered to be a descendant of the Lamna Otodus Obliquus. It is the largest predatory shark that ever lived growing to 18 meters (60 feet long or 3 times larger than a typical great white). It is a Megalodon.
Because of fossilization ancient shark’s teeth aren’t white. They take on the color of the sediment in which they have been buried.
So what do sharks’ teeth have to do with silversmithing? For me, they bring back great memories from high school.