Emily Bhargava

303 posts


1″ diameter, found objects

Biking may not be the first thing you think of when you see this design, but here’s the back story: from the time I was small, everyone around me has been on a quest to find just the right bike gear.  My mom wanted a wide tractor seat for comfort, my dad wanted all the fancy gadgets, my husband wanted an electric bike to transport the kids, and we’ve been on a years-long quest to have the right size bikes for each kid on any given day.  If you squint, you’ll see that the center of this pendant looks like a bicycle seat, and it’s got all the fancy bits and pieces to make it just right.


1″ diameter, found objects

Last weekend my son spotted a mama bird sitting on her eggs in a nest above a pathway, and we watched her sit cozily while we walked below.  Then this week I was hosted at a graceful, generous, beautiful house in Provincetown with an ocean view.  It was so nest-like and comforting that it seemed like there was no reason to leave.  And the coper bead that acts as a nest in the pendant came from a thrift store near there, where it was just waiting to become this week’s design.


1″ x 1″, found objects

We just got back from a few days in Puebla, and while we were there we were able to visit a talavera factory.  We saw the process from start to finish, from fresh clay dug locally to workable clay, through to glazing.  Although there’s a limited palette of traditional colors that can be used by certified talavera makers, the designs are a different story.  Anything goes.  Ancient local motifs, designs that came with Arab immigrants, designs from Spanish conquerors, and contemporary designs.  It all counts.  I like that as long as the materials and the process remain the same, it’s acceptable to borrow across borders and cultures.  People often have trouble pinning my jewelry down and comment on how something might look Egyptian, or Native American, or French.  While I don’t want to be too derivative, I look for shapes and patterns that please me, informed by art from around the world, all made with the same techniques.


.5″ x .75″, found objects

Tiny nails have a special place in my heart, so whenever I have some in my pocket, I turn them into a pendant.  This time the design looks like an eye with beautiful long eyelashes, and it reminds me of a mosaic mirror that a student of mine made last weekend.  It had multiple small  mirrors, and said “change your view”.  In the center was an eye with the word “see”.  What a beautiful reminder that what we see depends on our view, and if we change our view, we see something new.  Thanks Susan!


.5″ x 2″, glass

Is it possible that I haven’t made a purple-themed pendant in all these years of posting pendants? This week two different people asked me to make more purple pendants, and I thought about why my very favorite color doesn’t show up as much as it should in my work.  I’ve leaned hard into glass and metal, both of which are hard to make purple.  Glass can do a lilac, or a deep reddish-purple, or a deep blue that leans purple, but not the kind of royal purple that you think of when you’re looking for the purple crayon.  So this pendant combines many of the purples that glass can do.  If you squint maybe you’ll see crayon purple.


I sat down to write about this pendant and I had decided that it would be called calendar, because the way the months feel to me is like lots of the same, with the odd holiday or wonderful meal to break it up, and that rivet at the bottom is where the breaks in the month happen.  But when I typed “calendar,” spellcheck, in all its wisdom, changed it (as always) to cake dar.  And once again, I thought “gosh, I wish I had cake-dar that could help me sniff out all of the cakes and lead me to them!” So here it is, either a rumination on time, or a miraculous device to help me sniff out cake!


1″x1.5″, found objects

I was thinking about all of the pieces on this pendant as flotsam, as things in the way as I try to float along, but then I realized that I’m not floating,  I’m working much harder to move forward. I’m swimming, pushing hard against the water and finding the gaps between the many barriers to swim through.  I’ve been watching my son learn to swim, and the process of learning is tough.  It’s reminded me that as I move along and take each stroke, at least I already know how to swim.  (Also, if you’re in the Boston area, come say hi and pick up some pendants for yourself this weekend at Somerville Open Studios!)

Compass II

1″ x 1.5″, found objects

This isn’t the first time I’ve needed some direction, so I know I’ve made a compass pendants before, but I’m once again turning in circles and trying to choose the best path forward, and I’ll take all the help I can get, even in the form of a compass-adjacent pendant.


1″diameter, found objects

I didn’t mean to make a pendant about the eclipse, but there’s no denying that the iridescent center and the rings are reminiscent of what happened this week.  So many friends traveled to see totality and their photos are amazing, but even being here in MA where the temperature dropped and crowds gathered to watch the sky was pretty magical.


1″ x 2″, found objects

It’s the imperfections that offer beauty and depth.  There’s a reason that we’re most interested in the four-leaf clover than all the thousands of three-leafed ones.  At first I looked at this pendant and was frustrated by the marks I’d left in the adhesive as I placed the beads along the edges.  But they create shadows and balance the manufactured perfection of the teardrop charm.  And in the middle, the gem still shines, which is what it’s really all about.


1″x1.5″, found objects

It’s been icky and drippy outside. April snow puts me in a foul mood. But at least the water and ice streaming down the windows looks pretty, and I’ve decided to lose myself in the beauty of the weather to distract myself from the shivering and splashing.

Organization III

1″ x 1.25″, found objects

I’m back to organizing.  Setting up a studio/gallery space in the wonderful  SoWa Mosaics kept me busy this morning, and I’m looking forward to many more hours of putting things in the right places.  And here, on a tiny scale, is some more organization.

Five more minutes!

1″x.75″, found objects

There’s nothing I want more right now than just little more time.  Five more minutes to get the email written, five more minutes to sweep up the scraps from the floor, five more minutes to rest before the day starts in earnest.  April doesn’t seem like it should be the busiest month, but somehow it always is.

Stories and Gifts

.5″ x 2″, gifted objects

I’ve been helping to clean out the studios of two different artist friends who passed away, and handling their materials makes me think about the collection that I’m amassing of gifts that I’ve been given for art.  Bits of broken jewelry, glass collected from a beach, beads from friends’ travels, a slate roof tile that slid off a neighbor’s roof… each story makes the object more special, and the stories find their way into each pendant.  But in using the materials from  friends who aren’t there to explain them,  the old stories are lost and I have to make new ones, making their memories my own.


1″ x 1″, glass and found objects

I have a love/hate relationship with boxes.  They organize, they capture, they categorize, they store.  But they also obscure and constrain.  Today’s pendant is a box.  Is it confining?  Comfortable? When should we settle in and feel held by the boxes we’re in and when should we push against their boundaries?

Jumping through hoops

1″ diameter, found objects

It’s not often that my kids come home with stories of learning something really practical at elementary school, but yesterday I heard about a game they played in gym where they had to jump through hoops to move forward. Now THAT is training for real life.

Scales of Justice

1″x1.5″, found objects

The justice system isn’t feeling very just lately.  This isn’t a recent change, but every few weeks I hear about one more case that’s being tried, reconsidered, thrown out, or publicized in a way that feels wrong.  I wish there were more transparency and a lot less systemic injustice at play, an easier way to peer into the inner workings of the justice system and say “there! that little cog is the problem, let’s fix it!”


1″ x .75″, found objects

I’m not sure how many times I’ll make pendants that look like shields, but it keeps happening.  I wish I could give them out as protective charms to all the people in the world who need them.  I like to think that all the bits and pieces that people give me, or that I collect on my travels, become talismans.


2″ x .5″, found objects

Art deco always reminds me of the buildings in Chicago and New York, with stunning angles and detail when you take a moment to look up past the retail level. And here cuff links turned into a tiny art deco display. The gem, the original star of the show, isn’t important anymore in comparison to the power of the angles and layers of the usually-hidden backs of the links.

Ancient Moon

1″ x 1.25″, found objects

We’ll stay in space this week, but this time we’ll explore the moon. I’ve been turning drum heads and oreos into moons at a school, so everything is looking like a moon.  This pendant has a bone moon, a set of orbiting bodies, and a silver halo.  And it’s all showing its age.

Outer Space

1″ x 1.5″, found objects

I’ve been reading some extremely bizarre young adult science fiction, which makes it seem perfectly reasonable that a golden orb, flattened and pierced, would float by.  And the sky’s been cloudy the last few nights, obscuring the moon and anything else that might choose to swing past Earth.  So here’s what I’m imagining I’d see if I looked up.


1″ diameter, found objects

I played with epoxy resin this week, filling molds and filling things that aren’t molds (like this watch back).  But the resin set at the same time that we had a freeze, and now all I can see when  I look at the clear resin is the ice that’s glistening beautifully but keeping my car doors from closing, my windshield wipers from moving, and my feet from being able to walk without slipping.


1″ x 1″, found objects

Someone stopped by the studio this week to pick up broken vessels that she could use with a kintsugi kit that she’d been gifted.  It felt so nice to pass along the pieces to someone who would work faster than I would to give them a new life.  And in the spirit of making the broken more beautiful than the whole, this pendant celebrates the spaces created by a rift.


1″x1″, found objects

As the year begins I’m diving deeper into the things I’ve been working on for the last many months.  Finding what’s on the bottom of my packed hardware drawers, pulling apart the welder to figure out why it’s broken, and thinking about the why’s and wherefores of the arts integration projects that are coming up. It’s a bit hard to tell from the photo, but the springs and the central glass bead on the pendant are deep, rounding out the piece and helping the light shift as it moves.

Resilience II

1″ x 2″, found objects

When I work in prevention, one of the assets that we try to strengthen in kids is resilience.  I love the idea that it’s not our strength that keeps us going, but our ability to roll with the punches, change course and move through our troubles. And I explain often to stained glass students that what makes a traditional leaded glass window stronger than a copper-foiled one is the lead’s flexibility. It can bend enough to withstand a gust of wind or a temperature differential.  The triangle of this pendant reminds me of puffed-out chest, strong and confident, but what gives the pendant its real strength is the little moving bit at the bottom that will swing and adjust as the wearer moves.