Friday, October 5, 2012

Corvus Corax: Magical Mystery Bird

So I'm walking my dear Abbie on our morning constitutional and I notice next to the sprinkled green lawns of the apartments across the street, the sidewalk has been seriously groomed:  an assiduous gardner has tackled the moss in the cracks along the curb and in between the paving sections.  Pretty high standards for that outfit, I thought, and that's when I ran into the crew from Corvus Corax Moss Removal Co., hard at work.

I took it as a reminder that I had to finish, photograph and list these earrings:

They are called "El cuervo y el clavo," the raven and the nail.  The birds are old, old black Oaxaca pottery beads, with dappled blood red glass beads from India, and my latest fave, used horseshoe nails drilled and turned into charms, all assembled and hanging from a steel ring caught in a leather loop, in turn hanging from niobium wires.  I think these have to be in chucho style -- also notice the copper sequins either side of the red beads.  Those are there because the holes in the beads are inconsistent, one is larger than the other, and I wanted the beads to sit on their stringing wire without covering the loop beneath, so there's a function, but I like that little flash of coppery color, too.  Somehow ravens, blood red and nails seem right together, and make these mysteriously talismanic.  I know that in many natural, spiritual practices (that is hoodoo, voudun, etc.), the steel nail is a potent protector.  And the raven we know in Northwest tribal culture as a great trickster who stole the moon and released the first humans from a clamshell.  Pecking away at it, not meaning to loose an invasive species on the planet, just looking for something to eat.  Just like those two across the street doing moss removal.  A corvid's gotta eat.


  1. silly little bunnies! nah, just kidding. they be doing their job. :) ravens like to go on our roof and eat at the chimney flue. what they are after up there, i'm not sure, but they are very efficient form the sounds of it. love the earrings!

  2. Such bizarre actions by the crows.... I wonder if there were bugs in there or something....the earrings are great! But how did you drill the nails?

    1. I used a low-speed drill with a carbon steel drill bit (fine), with oil of wintergreen to lubricate and then reamed the holes to the size I needed.

      And, yes, the crows were finding food, probably worms. Clever birds!

  3. magical, dark talismans! perfect for space gypsies.