Marrella splendens

Over the winter holiday, someone asked me to make a pair of cufflinks featuring a fossil from the Burgess Shale. But how could I pick just one?! I decided to feature Marrella splendens - both for its ubiquitous presence throughout the fossil bed, and for its beautiful complexity. As an added bonus, when made to scale, Marrella was the perfect size for cufflinks. 

The recipient of these cufflinks does not have keen eyesight, so I chose to carve the subject in wax rather than limit myself to a shallow etching. That way he could at least feel the relief of the final product. 

I purchased new fine detail carving tools and some magnifying lenses and set to work. I did not realize beforhand that the pivot mechanism of the bar would, in fact, be the most difficult fabrication detail. In the end, I am more proud of this set than of anything else I have created thus far. Until next month of course!