Blood Milk Jewels
Self-Portrait In a Sea of Grief. Chapter II.
Blood Milk Jewels
Self-Portrait In a Sea of Grief. Chapter II.
This is Chapter II of a very personal strand I made after the loss of my grandmother. Since we received many emails with folks resonating with it, I decided to make a Chapter II. I also decided to keep the original text to Chapter I because it felt best to keep that as a time capsule for Chapter II and because I didn't feel good about revisiting my feelings on it. It is my true hope that these strands will go to those that need it and that they will *stay* with their new homes.
If I was speaking this to you, my voice would be shaking and surely, I would be fighting tears that would never the less force their way out anyway, psychically wounded tears, from a wound that will never heal, that I will carry forever. If I sound dramatic, it’s because I should. When a death ruptures your life, as it has for so so many of you all and us collectively these days, there should be intensity, we should be baring it and sharing it. It’s been strange to me how much of these pandemic times, these mass death times, this grand psychic wounding time we are in - that we are not talking of it more as a culture- we are not sharing our grief. Perhaps this is who we are as a whole, but here, in this glowing portal under my banner, there is space, however imperfectly I may speak of it, in fits and starts - in jewels and carousels and sometimes, in my absence because I can’t find any other way.
Early August I lost my grandmother. I was close to her as she slipped away and it was one of the hardest things I have ever witnessed and will witness and I am lost in the Labyrinth- in the Sea of Grief. I don’t know how to find my way out, I don’t know how to connect with my friends or loved ones, I don’t know how to communicate or how to be; I’m so grateful I still know how to communicate through jewelry and writing even if that feels painful af. This strand is by far the most personal in the collection because it was made in honor of my grandmother, Dee, who spent most of her life near the sea. The color palette was chosen in homage to the photo of seen here that I saw for the first time after her death and just fell in love with. On the back is a little love note from my grandfather. The glitter in her costume shines thru despite its age. If you choose this strand, know you are wearing a piece of my heart, a piece of my grief, a piece of the sea her and I grew up near. 🖤🐚I share my grief to be connected to you, because I don’t know how else to cope.
The’ Self-Portrait’ series was born after I had the opportunity to view the exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s personal belongings and clothing at the Brooklyn museum in 2019. Among the treasures on view were her beaded necklaces, included one made of chunky aqua colored stones, that were believed to be Mayan grave goods as Diego often purchased artifacts from excavation sites. She strung her own strands together and this was evident - as well as a swirl of paint, similar in color, on one of the beads; she was most likely color matching for one of her self-portraits. I’d like to try to express how seeing these things in person made me feel; as if she was present, her spirit filling up the room, at turns exuberant and melancholy- but I can’t. My words, what I often fall back on to truly express myself, don’t feel quite enough. Instead, I decided to make my own strands, similar in length and size, to hers- to echo through time and to allow for a kind of web to be formed. Frida was always wearing jewelry and was one of the inspirations for my own love of jewelry before I began making my own. Psychic armor forever.
Pool of Light necklaces were designed in the Art Deco era and were created with clear quartz spheres similar to the ones seen here. Reflecting light in a 'pool' when resting on a surface or against the body, the truest to their names were 'un-drilled' so as to not interrupt the light flowing through the clear crystals. However, these necklaces each still literally *glow* in light - and make me think of the way light catches on the edges of waves during mid day - the golden hour - when everything feels peaceful and your heart and mind is attuned to the coming and going of the waves .....
Despite its ubiquitous accessibility within the crystal kingdom, clear quartz remains one of the most potent crystals one can own, considered to be the 'Master Healer' as it can be used to assist you with any issue. Thought to be a 'memory/record keeper' that enables recall of lost memories, it also helps amplifies spiritual pursuits and increases psychic awareness. The spherical shape, akin to the traditional 'crystal ball,' has long been a symbol of divination and magic.
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, clear quartz spheres, pearls that remind me of the moon, and silver plated hematite.
Designed to be worn closer to the neck, this strand measures approximately 20.5 inches long from end to end, including clasp.
At its closure is our largest, double sided, Crying Eye Clasp in sterling silver, oxidized to our favorite gloomy grey and and finished to highlight the shining silver beneath.
As a special, bold statement piece, it also layers beautifully with other BloodMilk necklaces.
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.
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.
*Length note: Because individual bead measurements vary slightly, total strand lengths are approximate within a few millimeters in either direction. Please reach out via email if you have any questions about this.
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