Sunday, March 29, 2009
I recently came into possession of an antique lead amulet from Burma. I have many wonderful plans for this exquisite deity, but I'm not sure who he/she is! At first, I thought perhaps he was Mahakala, the protector of monasteries since there are skulls beneath his feet, but Mahakala is always depicted with a fierce, tooth baring grimace. All of the images I found of the Buddha holding a sword, have the sword of justice held high in his right hand, not at his side. Another thing that is interesting about this amulet, is that the deity appears to be cradling a infant in the left arm leading me to speculate that this may be a female Buddha.
When I received this spectacular amulet, it had a wonderful patina on it which has now been removed thanks to the mold making process we use. I apologize in advance to all of the antique amulet collectors for doing this, but it had to be done for the sake of art :)
If you happen to know the name of this deity, or if you have a good guess, please leave me a note in the comments section. I want to be as accurate as possible in the descriptions that will accompany my ceramic pieces created from this beautiful object.
There are more photos posted of this amulet, including some close ups of it here if you would like to check them out.
Thank you! :)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Three Graces of Roman mythology, or Charities as they are known in Greek mythology, were thought to be Goddesses of charm, beauty and creativity. Some also believe they represented nature and fertility.
My "Three Graces" cameo was created from white earthenware clay and accented with a pale purple glaze. I have set it in a beautiful adjustable ring. More photos of this piece can be found in my Good Dirt Jewelry Etsy shop.
Don't forget--Shipping is always FREE :)
Monday, March 23, 2009
I have recently added some new handmade by me earthenware cameo pendants to my Grizzly Mountain Cache supply shop on Etsy! So far, I have added three of the floral cameos seen above in the photo and will try to get the rest of them uploaded tomorrow :) All of my handmade cameos have Aanraku bails, and can be used as you see fit in your fabulous jewelry creations!
If you would like to view more photos of these new pieces, please click here, or on the link above.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I created this Eihwaz rune from earthenware clay. It has been glazed with a rich blue glaze. No two pieces come out of the kiln the same! If you would like to view more photos of this item, please visit the listing for this item in my Good Dirt Jewelry shop on 1000markets.com.
The Eihwaz rune symbolizes protection, strength, reliability and enlightenment.
Whether you are a practicing Druid, or just love the art of ancient traditions, this pendant would be a unique addition to your collection.
~What are Runes?~
According to Wikipedia, the runes were introduced to the Germanic peoples in the 1st or 2nd century AD. (The oldest known runic inscription dates to around 150 AD and is found on a comb discovered in the bog of Vimose, Funen,Denmark. The inscription reads harja; a disputed candidate for a 1st century inscription is on the Meldorf fibula in southern Jutland). This period may correspond to the late Proto-Germanic or Common Germanic stage linguistically, with a continuum of dialects not yet clearly separated into the three branches of later centuries; North Germanic, West Germanic, and East Germanic.
~The Runes in Mythology~
In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet is attested to a divine origin (Old Norse: reginkunnr). This is attested as early as on the Noleby Runestone from around 600 CE that reads Runo fahi raginakundo toj[e'k]a...,meaning "I prepare the suitable divine rune..." and in an attestation from the 9th century on the Sparlösa Runestone which reads Ok rað runaR þaR rægi[n]kundu,meaning "And interpret the runes of divine origin".
~History of Runes~
The runes developed centuries after the Mediterranean alphabets from which they are potentially descended. There are some similarities to alphabets of Phoenician origin (Latin, Greek, Italic) that cannot possibly all be due to chance; an Old Italic alphabet, more particularly the Raetic alphabet of Bolzano, is often advanced as a candidate for the origin of the runes, with only five Elder Futhark runes ( e, ï, j, ?, p) having no counterpart in the Bolzano alphabet(Mees 2000). This hypothesis is often denied by Scandinavian scholars, who usually favour a Latin origin for most or all of the runic letters (Odenstedt 1990; Williams 1996). An Old Italic or "North Etruscan" thesis is supported by the inscription on the Negau helmet dating to the 2nd century BC (Markey 2001). This is in a northern Etruscan alphabet, but features a Germanic name, Harigast. New archaeological evidence came from Monte Calvario (Auronzo di Cadore).
The earliest runic inscriptions found on artifacts give the name of either the craftsman or the proprietor, or, sometimes, remain a linguistic mystery. Due to this, it is possible that the early runes were not so much used as a simple writing system, but rather as magical signs to be used for charms.
Although some say the runes were used for divination, there is no direct evidence to suggest they were ever used in this way. The name rune itself, taken to mean "secret, something hidden", seems to indicate that knowledge of the runes was originally considered esoteric, or restricted to an elite.
Ancient cultures and their symbols is a favorite subject of mine to study. Oregon is rich in archeological art and this earthenware pendant shows an example of a pictograph found in Harney County.
I have glazed this pendant to have the appearance of an old weathered rock, with the pictograph created with a glaze close to the color that may have been used to create the original image. More photos of this unique pendant can be found in my Good Dirt Jewelry shop on 1000markets.com.
*What is the difference between a pictograph and a petroglyph?*
A pictograph, which is usually found on the surface of a light colored rock, is an image that was created by painting with a variety of pigments made up of soot and/or local minerals that had been made into a powdered form. Red could have been made from hematite or iron oxide, and orange could have been made by adding limonite. Malachite provided the green, azurite the blue, and turquoise probably came from ground up turquoise. Other sources of pigment included white clay, silica, gypsum, chalk, calcium carbonate, and charcoal. Pastels were created from clay mixed with other minerals. Thanks to the arid climate found in central and eastern Oregon, many examples can be found today of this early artwork.
A petroglyph is an image that has been chipped, chiseled or pecked into the surface of a rock. These are typically found on exposed rock surfaces. They depict hunting scenes, religious or magical symbols, ancient astrological symbols and other surreal symbols whose meaning is only known to the ancient cultures that created them.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I created this 1 1/4" diameter pendant from earthenware clay. This piece has been glazed with an earthy moss green. A carved horn bead and an upcycled watch stem were used in the design. This pendant hangs from an 18" ball chain which you can easily remove if you have a favorite chain you prefer to use.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
An antique button with the fleur-de-lis was used to make the mold that created this delicate looking ceramic ring. The ceramic portion has been glazed a pale blue color and was mounted on an adjustable ring base.
The fleur-de-lis, translated from French as "lily flower", is a stylized design of either an iris or a lily that is now used purely decoratively as well as symbolically, or it may be at one and the same time political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic and symbolic, especially in heraldry.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I bought the most beautiful antique art nouveau era pewter button a while back, and with that button I made the mold for this piece. The nearly 1 inch diameter earthenware ceramic pendant has been glazed a gorgeous baroque gold color. This pendant hangs from a faux suede cord that you can easily remove should you have a favorite chain you prefer to use. Please visit my Etsy shop to see more photos of this piece.