Blood Milk Jewels

Self-Portrait Seeped in Endless Night. Onyx Mourning Beads.


Blood Milk Jewels

Self-Portrait Seeped in Endless Night. Onyx Mourning Beads.


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Glossy black spheres resembling pools of ink for one to metaphorically dip their pen nibs in ( or swords ) are carefully strung together to form a Night-Time sentiment, with a single Endless Night key dangling at the center. Named in honor of Frida Kahlo and her self-portraits, this shorter, chunkier strand was created with her personal jewelry collection in mind, specifically the large bead strands she wore, despite their heavier weight and which were most likely Mayan grave relics. 

Lately I’ve been thinking of the La Brea tar pits, a strange portal of a place in Los Angeles ( also a strange portal of a place itself ) which is an ice age lake of tar where natural asphalt seeps up from the ground and has for thousands of years. It is an ancient place, where animals have gotten trapped over time and died, their bones preserved and drowned in this sticky, black pool. Over time, we have been able to excavate their remains and these old bones have surfaced again, and we have come to know these ancient creatures, such as dire wolves, saber-toothed cats, a giant ground sloth, and even one human, a woman, who was most likely ritual interred in the pits. 

For me, this has become a metaphor of a place, a portal I feel I have come in and out of, a place I have dug myself out of and perhaps now find myself on the banks of. I feel its tar in my blood still, the ancientness of the bones of that woman still swimming in me, how we can become ‘stuck’ somewhere, swimming in place with the same thoughts on repeat - but still with the ability to climb out. There is a key. I know I might go for a night swim back in these pits again, amongst ancient bitumen because something in me finds it comforting, like sliding back into a self-portrait that feels comfortable, an old snake skin that feels just a little too tight, but strangely comforting even if its old and with the stink of the wilds. I hope not. I twirl the beads in my hand, I feel myself rooted to the earth, the land outside of the tar pits. I visit the museum and look at the wall of dire skulls. I belong in both places. I have the key for the portal. 

Made for those in the tar pits, or those sitting on the bench - watching those excavating - or those who are reaching in to pull a beloved out. 




‘Some are born to sweet delight

Some are born to endless night’

-William Blake



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. 


I’ve been obsessed with a particular strand of beads via Frida Kahlo’s personal collection since I saw it in its glass vitrine amongst many other pieces of her personal wardrobe. During their marriage, Diego & Frida collected many artifacts of pre-Columbian sculpture, which would have possibly enabled her to get these beads directly from an archeological excavation - as they are believed to be Mayan Jade, ritually buried with the dead.

Beads and beaded necklaces have a long, long history and were handmade and valued in nearly every ancient society up to the present day - aside from their aesthetic and grave good usage, they were also a form of currency in some cultures. Frida hand strung beads to wear, despite their heft against her small body; in this way she tethered herself to the past just as I press myself to the/her past. The strand that inspired this one has a swirl of green paint she’s believed to have purposely left - a stroke caught in time - before it had been fully mixed to a cohesive green used in her paintings. I imagine it came from several shades on her palette, collected on a brush and then carefully smoothed over an ancient bead I viewed as part of a necklace a wounded artist wore during her life, excavated from her own ‘grave goods’ sealed for years and years and now released again, evidence of a person behind the legend, the towering ghost, the broken columned muse.




This strand is composed of faceted, and smooth round onyx, as well as tiny glittering spinel. It measures approximately 22.5 inches long from end to end, including clasp.

At its closure is our smaller, double sided Endless Night clasp cast in sterling silver. At the 'heart' of the strand is our smaller, double sided Key of Endless Night. You can find information about the Key of Endless Night HERE



Onyx is best known for being a natural stone that acts as a kind of 'psychic armor' against the negativity of others. It is also used to sooth grief and heartbreak. It's a wonderful grounding stone and stone of self mastery, enabling its wearers to have mental and spiritual focus.

These beads are hand cut and therefore may have very slight differences in size and may have small signs of the carver's hands along the edges. These are not fabricated by a machine, they are made by hand and therefore aren't uniformly perfect. The photographs accurately portray the quality of the stones and the cuts. 

Each bead has been hand selected for its quality.


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 is handmade to order, just for you, with care and focus. Please allow approximately 5 weeks for creation before shipping.          

*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. 

Please visit the Policy Page to make an educated and informed purchase HERE.

Please email any questions to bloodmilkjewels@gmail.com for a timely and kind response.