Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reliquary for A Castaway

Supposed to Be Written by Alexander Selkirk, During His Solitary abode in the Island of Juan Fernandez:

I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute,
From the centre all round to the sea,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
Oh solitude! where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.

William Cowper, 1854

A reliquary for the castaway, made of a sea bean (entada giga), hollowed and filled wiith curiosities and a scrap of antique text (said curiosities are: a bit of egg shell, a bit of nacre from a seashell, skull of tiny mammal from an owl's cast; glass beads, kanji script, a scrap of skeletonized leaf), held fast on waxed died cotton twine, suspending also a mysterious nut that looks like a chicken heart that I can't find anywhere on the net (it originally came on a string of tulsi, most likely from India). For more on the use of natural seeds, beans and such, visit the lovely collection of Ruth J. Smith, online.  You won't find the mystery nut there, however, but if you know what it is, please, please oh please, leave me a comment, otherwise I'll be thinking there's a chicken heart tree out there in India somewhere.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Androgyne

Australia is the first nation to issue a passport to a person with gender unspecified.  This rustic necklace celebrates the idea that one need not shoehorn oneself into strictly defined genders of male or female, but that we all fall somewhere on a continuum, just as temperatures range from cold to hot.  My idea here is that whoever you are, you are Hot! 

 A fine old porcelain hot water faucet handle, no telling how long hidden in the ground, emerges as an audacious pendant, with agate and moonstone inlay, hanging from a hand wrought steel chain, with rough nuggets of howlite to cushion the neck.  It’s quite hefty, and you could defend yourself with it if it came to that – but I am thinking the times are changing and we can all benefit by accepting each other, even when we don’t understand.  Open your hearts, my friends.  And three cheers for the Aussies!