The Gold Bee

Classics is now the proud owner of this bee pendant designed and made by Nelly Mendoza-Mendoza '19 as her final project for Roman Technology and Engineering in Spring of 2019. The design of the piece incorporates the ancient technique of gold granulation. When gold flakes are subjected to intense heat, the surface tension of the molten gold causes them to coalesce into a perfectly round bead, which is then transferred onto the base with fine tweezers. This difficult technique was known already in ancient Mesopotamia, with examples surviving from as far back as 2500 B.C.E., and was later adopted by the Egyptians. Through Phoenician trade, it came to Troy, to Greece, and to the Italian peninsula, where the early Etruscans produced some especially beautiful designs.  

Nelly discovered her talent for jewelry design and creation through the Donald Claflin Jewelry Studio at the Hopkins Center, where she worked throughout her time at Dartmouth. Since her graduation last June, she has continued her relationship with the Jewelry Studio, taking on additional responsibilities. She also takes commissions for custom-produced jewelry. She plans to continue professionally as a jewelry designer and teacher.

You can view other examples of Nelly's designs at her website.