I love the earthy colors of the fall- the mix of stalwart greens waiting until the last minute to drop, contrasted against the browns and golds of leaves already changed. It is the perfect illustration of life’s dichotomies.
I tried to capture some of that in this necklace with its mix of turquoise, banded oxidized copper beads, and juniper berry beads (ghost beads). Hanging from a handmade copper bail as a focal is a beautiful ceramic pendant made from an imprint of an actual leaf, by ceramic artist Mary Harding. The necklace closes with a matching clasp by Mary made from an imprint of spruce leaves.
This necklace measures approximately 20 inches long. The ceramic focal is approximately 1 inch wide by 1 1/2 inches high. The artisan clasp is approximately 1 inch square.
THE STONE MEDICINE:
In traditional thought, Turquoise unites the earth and sky, bringing together male and female energies. Turquoise is a stone of “earth-grounding” and is valuable in preventing one from losing touch with the conscious mind during deep meditations. It provides strength and protection. Did you know that it is said that turquoise connects with its owner and will grow pale in color if the wearer becomes ill, sometimes losing all color if the wearer passes away, only to regain color when worn again by a new, health owner.
Ghost beads (or Spirit beads) represent interconnection with the earth, trees, animals and humans. Ghost beads are worn to bring about peace, harmony, and safety. Ghost beads are actually dried juniper berries. The juniper berries are collected after ants have found the berries on the ground. They nibble off one end and eat the inside of the berry. The berry is then hollow and dry. Sometimes the berries are lightly smoked to further preserve them. A hole is made in the other end by artisans and then strung.