Penannular Squash Blossom Brooch

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Fabricated Sterling and commercial chain.  Approx. 2 inches.

The penannual and pin are forged out of square wire.  The hanging squash blossom or pomegranate form swings nicely.  This shape is found on Navajo necklaces, Pawnee earrings, and Mexican trousers.  A true classic.

cast brooch

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I can’t come up with a name for this one.  The primary piece is cast in Sterling using cuttlefish bone.  That means I carve a depression into the soft bone of a cuttlefish, then fill that void with molten silver.  That’s what gives it the organic look, and I left that texture visible.  The industrial look is via the pin back of 14k gold wire as it goes from front to back around a turned Sterling pulley.  This wire is not fixed, but floats in a hollow tube.

It looks good pinned to cloth with either end up.   It’s about 2 and 3/4 inches long.

penannular brooch

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Fabricated Sterling and fossilized ivory.  About 2 inches.  The ivory is secured with two rivets.

Penannular means simply, “almost a circle.”  It is an ancient design, but I’ve attempted to give it a non-traditional feel.

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tobacco seed holders

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Some years ago I was charged with the task of keeping and perpetuating wild tobacco seeds.  I didn’t feel it right to lightly handle these special seeds so I made a variety of containers to hold the seeds as I passed them on.  Here are two of the tobacco seed holders.  Both are fabricated Sterling and commercial chain.  The stoppers are carved fossilized mammoth ivory.

salt pocket

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Fabricated Sterling and commercial chain.  Approx. 4 1/2.  Its matte finish twin sold for $327

For many, traveling alone is a difficulty.  The salt pocket developed long ago as a way to lessen the anxiety of being away from home.  The traveler’s wife would lovingly fill the salt pocket with salt and some of the cooking spices typically used in the household.  The traveler, then, hangs the salt pocket to his belt as he goes on his way.  As he sits down to eat, the foreign food in a foreign place, he has the comfort of the recognizable at his side as he sprinkles on the “tastes of home” and is reminded of his beloved.

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Here are some more views:

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Amethyst Cruciform

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A cruciform brooch made of Sterling (about 2 1/2 inches) with an amethyst bead as a crown/foot.  The center hinged pin pivots for attachment.

Fossilized Ivory Acorn

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I made this for my daughter.  The crown and bail are forged Sterling.  The acorn is carved fossilized mammoth ivory, attached to the crown with a rivet.

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Tree of Life Brooch

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Forged and textured Sterling brooch, with fabricated pin-back finding.  About two inches in diameter.

The Tree stands in the center of the world.  In the center of the tree is a fruit.  I also see in this a cruciform or an exalting human figure:  the fruit becomes the figure’s head; the boughs are arms raised in celebration of victory.

The first Tree of Life was the one in the Garden.  It became a tree of death when the fruit was taken.  Another tree of death, the cross, became for us a Tree of Life.  I’m mindful of both as I look at this piece.

These show the pin back, closed and opened.

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