Blood Milk Jewels
Dreaming of the Sea.
Blood Milk Jewels
Dreaming of the Sea.
I've been longing for the sea - some days I wake up and feel my mouth full of brine - feel like I could pull ribbons of seaweed from my throat. I want to collect shells and hold them up to my ear to hear waves thunder to the beat of my hearts blood in my ear - I want to forage for sea glass, I want to feel the comforting sinking of the sand on the shoreline beneath my feet. I want to wade out as far as I can and feel the water push my hair around my shoulders - I want to feel weightless.
Once upon a time I swam in the deep ocean with sharks on a tour - not caged, a felt the wet velvet of their bodies bump up against mine. What was truly special though - was the nearby whale, close enough that I could hear its song with my body - it vibrated through my ribcage -
Another day - after a storm - my stepfather and I excitedly collected mermaid purses (empty shark egg cases ) that freckled the winter beach near where I was born. I still have a glass jar filled with them- & I wonder how big the sharks have grown.
Also - that same winter as I walked along the beach on my own on a windy, cold day while visiting from Philly, I found the skeleton of a seagull that had a bleached few feathers still attached. Its rib cage, the only thing not buried in sand, reminded me of a cathedral. I fell out of time for a bit watching its feathers dance in the wind.
These moments. Glitter on the waves - hidden knowledge - my dreams of the sea.
Pearls have an ancient history of reverence as well as a long legacy of beauty. Pearls are formed when an external irritant, like a grain of sand, breaches the shell of an oyster or shelled mollusk. Once this irritant has gained entrance within the dark fleshy confines of the oyster, it goes to work protecting itself. If this irritant can’t be expelled, it begins to ‘bandage’ the grain, coating it with concentric rings of calcium carbonate, named ‘narce.’ Each layer that is built up forms the shape of the pearl, awash in a brilliant iridescence, a beauty born of a tiny trespass. Thusly, a pearl has at its center, the object of its creation, a foreign intruder.
I associate the pearl and its strange construction to so many things: the jellied caterpillar struggling within a chrysalis, its liquefied body form a new winged shape. An embedded star smoldering within the shell of our hearts. An ink dot, a pin prick, a moon in miniature. History, who has always loved and revered the pearl, writes that we once believed pearls were the result of lightning striking the shell and penetrating the inner skins of the oyster. A small beauty made in duress, a ‘stone’ of initiation. To possess a pearl means to own something that is hidden, sacred.
Lore has it that Cleopatra, to win a wager with Antony, dissolved a large, exquisite pearl in her drinking glass. She swallowed it in one sip. I wonder about her dreams that night.
Hematite is a natural stone that is also considered a 'Blood Stone,' since when it is ground up, it has a distinctly red color that was also used as a pigment in ancient cave paintings. As a calming stone, and a stone of the mind for its ability to focus, aid in concentration, boost confidence and self-reliance, - used by artists and writers seeking inspiration. Interestingly- its also highly protective- considered a 'warrior' stone- the ancient Greeks aligned it with Mars, their war god.
This strand is composed of large, round, almost completely clear quartz spheres, two shapes of pale colored small pearls, and tiny faceted silver plated hematite beads.
Worn closer to the neck, this strand measures 21.5 inches long from end to end.
At its closure is our largest, double sided, hand carved, double sided, shell with silver pearl clasp in sterling silver, oxidized to our favorite gloomy grey and and finished to highlight the shining silver beneath.
Designed as a special, bold statement piece, it also layers beautifully with other BloodMilk necklaces.
Here, tear shaped and smooth round pearls are paired with faceted silver plated hematite beads. Because of their protective and emotional soothing qualities, this special strand is imbued with the poignant properties of the earth and the sea.
This strand measures 37 inches long from end to end. At its closure is our smallest, double sided, hand carved shell clasp in sterling silver, oxidized to our favorite gloomy grey and and finished to highlight the shining silver beneath.
This 'Opera Length' makes it perfect for wearing doubled up as well as at its full length. Designed to compliment other jewels in the Mourning/Ritual bead line it also layers beautifully with other BloodMilk necklaces. Its length and varying bead sizes makes it useful for meditation, mourning or ritual practices.
I’ve been thinking of heartbreak as broken glass - over time it becomes worn smooth in the sea of our hearts- like Sea Glass. & yet- it’s still glass and can become sharp at any moment - something can remind us and the pain of our grief can become raw and sharp once again - it’s always with us. Grief isn’t linear this way, it’s a spiral, a labyrinth- and this is ok- even if it’s not ok. Each bit of sea glass we collect in our hearts are *ours* and make us who we are. bloodmilk and my ability to have connected with so many people- my husband Aaron, Jamie, Jenny, Sam, Amber, Beth, Allie, .... - so many of you who are reading this- the team I’m able to employ - wouldn’t have been possible, if not all that was born from my labyrinth walks- from my rowing my little boat on a sea of grief and loss. This collection of new mourning beads speaks to this while also honoring the immense liminal space of grief so many of us find ourselves in these days. It’s always helped me to have a tactile piece of jewelry to help me- to hold close as a touchstone- to help ‘carry’ my feelings as if it were alive. Each strand of this collection comes with a little piece of sea glass for you to do with as you wish - to throw in the sea, to bury, to keep close, or to keep in a sacred space as a gift from my heart to yours as a little lighthouse, a way for me to say I understand a little bit, even if I don’t know exactly what you are going through, even if we’ll never meet.
This strand is handmade to order, just for you, with care and focus. Please allow approximately 5 weeks for its creation before shipping.
Some of the beads used in this strand are limited. We can not anticipate whether or not this particular style will be available again after this release.
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Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for a timely and kind response.
Pearls are naturally much softer than the majority of gemstones we work with and use in our bead strands and require more care.
-Your pearls should be considered a special occasion piece and not necessarily for daily wear.
-We do not recommend applying perfume or hairspray when you are wearing them.
-Pearls are easily scratched. Do not store them with other jewels.
-They should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.