Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ceramic Burmese Deity with Leather Bolo Necklace

This stunning Burmese deity ceramic pendant was created from a mold I made from an antique lead amulet from Burma. The earthenware clay pendant which measures about 2 inches in length, has been glazed with an earthy rust colored glaze. The 36 inch long dark brown bolo cord is leather and I have adorned it with copper wire and wooden beads. More photos of this piece can be found at the Etsy shop listing.

**Who is this deity?**

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. I was contacted recently by a blog reader who thought that this may in fact be a Hindu deity, so the mystery continues!

When I received this spectacular amulet, it had a wonderful patina on it which has now been removed thanks to the mold making process I 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 :)

Shipping is FREE for this item and a gift box is included!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ceramic Three Graces Cameo and Vintage Button Pendant

This graceful Three Graces pendant features a handmade ceramic cameo that I have formed from earthenware clay. I made the mold for this piece by using an antique cameo. This ceramic cameo has been glazed a pale baby blue and has been mounted on a vintage mother-of-pearl button. An Aanraku bail and silver-plated 18 inch ball chain completes this piece. You can easily remove the ball chain if you have a favorite chain you prefer to use.

You can find this and many other examples of my ceramic jewelry in my Good Dirt Jewelry Etsy shop!

Celtic "Fis" Pictish Stone Ceramic Pendant

There are many representations of the ancient old Gaelic Pictish stones and this is mine! This earthenware clay ceramic pendant has had the old Irish word "Fis" meaning "Secret Knowledge" carved into it. I have glazed it with a rich, earthy blue color and attached a sturdy Aanraku bail. You can easily remove the dark brown suede cord if you have a chain you prefer to use.

Shipping is free for this item that is currently for sale in my Etsy shop, and a gift box is included!

~Who were the Picts?~

According to Wikipedia, the Picts were a confederation of tribes in what was later to become eastern and northern Scotland from before the Roman conquest until the 10th century. They lived to the north of the Forth and Clyde rivers. They are assumed to have been the descendants of the Caledonii and other tribes named by Roman historians or found on the world map of Ptolemy. Pictland, also known as Pictavia, gradually absorbed the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata to form the Kingdom of Alba. Alba expanded absorbing British and Bernician territory and by the 11th century the Pictish identity had become subsumed under a new term for this amalgamation of North British peoples the "Scots".

Pictish recorded history begins in the Dark Ages. It appears that they were not the dominant power in Northern Britain for the entire period. The Gaels of Dál Riata controlled their own region for a time, but suffered a series of defeats in the first third of the 7th century. The Angles of Bernicia overwhelmed the adjacent British kingdoms, and the neighbouring Anglian kingdom of Deira (Bernicia and Deira later being called Northumbria), was to become the most powerful kingdom in Britain. The Picts were probably tributary to Northumbria until the reign of Bridei map Beli, when the Anglians suffered a defeat at the battle of Dunnichen which halted their expansion northwards. The Northumbrians continued to dominate southern Scotland for the remainder of the Pictish period.

Ceramic Celtic Coat of Arms Pendant

I made the mold for this ceramic pendant using an antique coat of arms button that features a Victoria's crown, rampant horse on the dexter (right) side, and an uncrowned rampant lion on the sinister (left) side. I believe the antique button must have been fashioned after a Victorian military button which has basically the same elements, with the exception being a rampant unicorn instead of a rampant horse, and the rampant lion wears a crown.

The glaze on this
ceramic pendant is a rich Tuscan gold color. It has an Aanraku bail attached and the silver plated ball chain measures 18 inches. You can easily remove the ball chain if you have a favorite chain you prefer to use.

A gift box is included with your purchase and shipping is FREE!

This graceful Three Graces adjustable ring features a handmade ceramic cameo that I have formed from earthenware clay. I made the mold for this piece by using an antique cameo. This cameo has been glazed a pale purple and has been set in a beautiful adjustable ring base.

I have just lowered the price on my Three Graces ceramic rings just in time for the holidays! Click here to view them in my Etsy shop.

A gift box is included with your purchase and shipping is FREE!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ceramic, Brass, Copper and Bone Pendant

Ceramic, Brass, Copper and Bone Pendant

I made the ceramic bead on this piece which is currently for sale in my Etsy shop, from earthenware clay. A vintage Nepalese brass bead with turquoise, African trade copper and carved bone beads complete the body of this unique piece.

The overall length of this pendant/talisman is 2".
The 20" necklace is made from a heavy, brown cotton cord that has a vintage button closure. This item ships for free and a gift box is included!

Ceramic Bobby Pins

Looking for an affordable artisan made holiday gift? I have just added some new ceramic bobby pins to my Good Dirt Jewelry Etsy shop!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Celtic Druid's Eggs

New Celtic Druid's Egg Pendants

I have had several inquiries about my Celtic Druid's Egg ceramic pendants, and here are a couple fresh out of the kiln! The two eggs featured above were created using white earthenware clay. A rich pale purple glaze and an earthy moss green glaze are two new colors for these pieces. I have also used a few more new glazes, so be on the look out for those in coming days! (I'm waiting on some more Aanraku bails).

These two newest eggs can be found in the "Ceramic Celtic Jewelry" section of my Good Dirt Jewelry Etsy shop. Don't forget, a gift box is included with every order and shipping is FREE!

*What Are Druid's Eggs?*

The Druid's Egg (also “glain,” “serpent's egg,” or “snake stone”) was a talismanic object sacred to the Druids. Tales about it resemble those of the Philosopher's Stone sought by the alchemists. Its myths may also be related to those of the Omphalos, a meteoritic stone which was kept at Delphi and was thought to be the egg of the serpent-monster Python. In legends, the Druid’s Egg is credited with endowing its possessor with the ability to obtain almost all he might desire. The Druid's Egg was also believed to create a favorable outcome in courts of law, so much that the Romans outlawed carrying one into any courtroom. In truth, the Druid’s Egg was an egg-shaped talisman made of stone. This consecrated object served as a tool for meditation and magickal focus, and symbolized the promise of renewal and rebirth. They could be made from any stone, and were generally small enough to fit in the palm of one's hand (about the size of a chicken's egg). In lore, the Druid's Egg was a magickal egg produced by serpents. It could be obtained only on St. Johns Eve, when snakes were supposed to gather in a ball and form an egg from their spittle. As the snakes twisted and writhed, the egg emerged from the mass of vipers and would then float upward into the air. Many species of snake do form such a ball in the cold months, but the few species of snake native to Britain are not egg-layers. A snake which does lay eggs is the python, not found in Britain, but which was kept in the goddess temples of the Aegean; this may be taken as further evidence of an association between the Druids (or their predecessors) and the Delphic cult which kept the sacred Omphalos stone. In legends, the Druid who caught the Druid’s Egg after its creation was advised to take instant measures to prevent being robbed of it: as soon as the egg had been obtained he was to throw himself upon a horse that was kept waiting for him, as he would be pursued by the snakes; he was further instructed not to halt until he had gotten to the other side of the first running water to which his flight brought him, across which the serpents would be unable to follow. The Druid’s Egg appears to have been an object of interest to the ancients, some of whom describe having actually seen and handled it. Among those who have specially described it is the Roman historian Pliny, who claimed he was shown one of these by a Druid from Gaul and called it an "anguinum." "There is also another kind of egg, of much renown in the Gallic provinces, but ignored by the Greeks. In the summer, numberless snakes entwine themselves into a ball, held together by a secretion from their bodies and by their spittle. this is called anguinum. The Druids say that hissing serpents throw this up into the air, and that it must be caught in a cloak, and not allowed to touch the ground; and that one must instantly take flight on horse-back, as the serpents will pursue until some stream cuts them out. It may be tested, they say, by seeing if it floats against the current of a river, even though it be set in gold. But as it is the way of magicians to cast a cunning veil about their frauds, they pretend that these eggs can only be taken on a certain day of the moon, as though it rested with mankind to make the moon and the serpents accord as to the moment of the operation. I myself, however, have seen one of these eggs; it was round, and about as large as a smallish apple; the shell was cartalaginous, and pocked like the arms of a polypus." Of all the historic sources who have testified to seeing this legendary egg, none claim to have witnessed its creation. While the Druid's Egg is not a widespread tool in modern Druidism, it is used by some as a ritual implement for grounding and to protect its owner from manipulative magick or other harmful intents by acting as a magickal “shell,” absorbing and transforming any destructive energy. In Wales, there is still some belief in the objects; they call them mân macal ("snare stones") and glain y nidir ("the snake's jewel").

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time to Get Back to Work!

After three weeks and over 5,000 miles, I am back from a wonderful vacation with my family and ready to get back to work!  As soon as I finish with the dreaded laundry pile, I will get busy glazing some new pieces, so please be sure and check back soon.

The photo above was taken in the Grand Teton National Park, and believe me, the photo doesn't begin to capture the awesome beauty of this national treasure.  If you'd like to see a few more photos from our trip, please click here to visit our Flickr portfolio.