Blood Milk Jewels
Mare Marginis. Sea of the Edge.
Blood Milk Jewels
Mare Marginis. Sea of the Edge.
Early Astronomers Giovanni Battista Riccioli named most of the visible lunar planes the lunar Maria, as they were believed to have been oceans once, rather than the results of ancient volcanic eruptions. So many of the names are beautiful and poetic - I choose to name this strand after 'Mare Marginis', latin for Sea of the Edge, as it felt most appropriate - we all felt a bit like edge walkers these days ... riding the liminal space we all find ourselves in.
The four pearls on this strand reminded me of the moon, both in shape and in texture - and with the proximity to the inky colors of the onyx, spinel and black glass, I imagine the wear needed a bit of extra comfort on a night sea journey.
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.
Here, oil slick pearl "coins" are paired with smooth & faceted Onyx, glittering Black Spinel and tiny beads from a disintegrating mourning jacket. Because of their protective and emotional soothing qualities, this special strand is imbued with the poignant properties of the earth and the sea.
Onyx is best known for being a natural stone that act as a kind of 'psychic armor' against the negativity of others. It is also used to sooth grief and heartbreak. They are wonderful grounding stones and stones of self mastery, enabling its wearers to have mental and spiritual focus.
Spinel is a potent stone for healing and protection: working to help clear intense emotions such as anger and rage, it imbues its wearer with a sense of calm. It is also used to heal the physical body and has powerful metaphysical qualities, helping its wearer to feel strong, assisting with perseverance, especially when dealing with issues from the past that have become difficult to overcome. Much like Onyx, it also helps repel negativity from others.
This strand measures 37.5 inches long from end to end. At its closure is our medium sized, 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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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.