Pearls with Garnet
Just like you, pearls go with everything. Maybe in the tiny brains of the soft harmless oysters, there rests a longing for teeth. Not the smooth hard flatness of a protective shell, but the hard biting surface of a tooth. The pearl is the oyster's dream of growing a biting surface.
As a decoration, you drape these dream teeth about your neck. They set off the subdued pastel tones of your sweater to perfection. But like the oyster, you dream at night of drawing blood. The dream is deep, hidden within the folds of the cloth, under your curtain of hair. Once in a while, when you laugh at his jokes, or nod at your neighbour the garnet flash of dark red shows through.
Dumortiorite You know that you are the backbone of the marriage. Without you he would wither away as he writes his ‘Magnum Opus’ in his dusty study. You pause in your contemplations to listen as he starts out on one of his long, solitary walks. Entering his study, you smile to find the usual chaos - papers and books on every surface, the tea cup half full of cold tea.
You sigh and pick up his latest manuscript. You hope his walk will be a long one, otherwise you will just have to finish it after he has fallen asleep tonight. You fill your pen with ink and begin to revise his ramblings into a semblance of meaning. The things you do for love!
Dumortierite is well know for its ability to stimulate and enhance intellectual capabilities. Who are you to pass up any kind of stimulation or enhancement?
Petrified (Fossilized) Wood
Shelve the twin -sets ladies, he’s off to work. Another set of ‘Pearls for Bad Girls’ to bring out your inner sabertooth. Just as these ancient tigresses padded silently through the prehistoric forests in search of prey, so you can stalk, hungry, through the aisles of Sainsbury’s hunting for your own pride with the reminder of the ancestral huntress demurely around your neck.
The soft colours of the mookite pearls sooth your eyes and remind you of good times past and to come. Your body changes, you start your life anew. Again. The fluidity that is the greatest feat of womankind is all within your scope. But as with molten steel, once the change is over, the centre hardens into an elemental force.
Your child looks up at you, small and fragile, and your primal instincts rage within you. Protect, nourish, survive. No one is ever going to patronize you by calling you ‘yummy mummy’ as though you were a muffin or a slice of air filled cake. You will not be consumed. Like mookite, your exterior shows warm, soothing, elemental colours. But like all stones - and all mothers - you bend the world to your will in order to achieve your objectives.
Lapis is a stone for resurrection. In earlier centuries, before synthetics, Lapis Lazuli was ground into powder and used to create the iconic azure blue found in the paintings of the masters. Various saints and holy persons have been depicted draped in garments constructed on canvas from minute particles of this stone. The ancient Egyptians carved cartouches and ushabti from Lapis and used it to make amulets to guide the dead from this world into the next.
You have no need to wait for a next world before becoming an icon. With this powerful stone adorning your neck you can almost see the nimbus forming around your head. Enjoy your time in this corporeal body and shelve thoughts of the next world, you aren’t headed there anytime soon!
The storm gathers. Carefully, deliberately, you stir your dangerous teacup. You do not cower at the boom of thunder, nor do you jump at the lightening’s flash. Instead, you prepare. You knew the storm was coming, you could feel it in its infancy. Far from fleeing, you prepare. Like a good housewife with her canning jars, you will capture, constrain and contain the power of nature with your own iron will.
The swirling tempest reflected in the pearls of pietersite lie in calm obedience atop your collarbone. These hard spheres contain the energy of the storm, they feed your spirit and keep you strong.
The wheels and cogs intertwine and turn, a clockwork of your own making that gives satisfaction to your sense of timing and precision. The click of your heels as you walk down the corridor echoes off the slate grey walls. Another door opens and you walk through, confident, poised and in control. All eyes turn to you. You smile and nod acknowledgment. You hold your universe in the palm of your hand.
The purple brilliance of Sugilite encircles your neck like a ring of tiny planets. As mistress of them all, you exude a benevolent air of tolerance, tempered by a steely resolve that things will be better if they are done to your specifications. You are not always obeyed, but you are always right. Eventually your perseverance will pay off. Those around you will realizes that life is so much easier when they agree with you.
This piece from ‘Pearls for Bad Girls’ is a one-off, but don’t let that stop you imagining them as a flaming circle of dancing stones adorning your neck.
In the middle ages, Opals were thought to have supernatural powers. Wrapping them in a fresh bay leaf and holding them in your hand was thought to make you invisible - a useful feature as you are cursing your neighbor or stirring your cauldron. Nowadays we know better. We don’t want to be invisible. We want to be seen. Thumb your nose (gracefully) at past misconceptions and embrace your inner witch.
This necklace is strung with fire opals, mother of pearl and jasper.
The florescent lights that light your working life can be hard. They give no concession to the sun, their pale blueness is not subject to eclipses or whims of universal gravity. They show what is there, The strength of your achievements and your determination to be the best at what you do. The stones around your neck glow ever so slightly under their strange light. Some might find it difficult to adapt to these changes but you don’t. Like fluorite, you are resourceful.
You seamlessly flow from one environment to another and maintain the decorum and perfection that is a core part of you. You have a heart like fluorite. You are ultimately changeable, with depths hidden beneath your cool, calm exterior that can be guessed at by those who bother to look. Whether bonding together two essential elements or seeing far beyond what others around you see, the soothing colours of the fluorite necklace you wear are a reminder of the layers of your own personality.
The Amazons, women of legendary strength and competence, rewarded their menfolk with beautiful stones in return for specific favours. The stones were the colour of the jungle and the mighty Amazon river named after these brave, heroic women. The female warriors were not ungracious in their thanks and jewels were given as tokens of appreciation for services rendered.
Today, you look out your window and survey your own domain. You are pleased with what you see before you, the arrangement of blocks and bricks grown together in your jungle. He too, like his ancestors, will not find you unappreciative of his efforts. The blue-green pearls around your neck flash a final reminder of ancient, powerful tribe, they catch the last ray of the sunlight as you draw the blinds.
Obsidian is a stone for truth. You wear it under the stars, grazing your collarbone in the semi-darkness. You are not fooled by the half light - you can see in the dark. The veins of truth blossom brightly on the darker surface. Catching them, you weave them into a sublime hardness to wear around your neck.
You crave truth. All around you see lies and you reject them. You have always been strong. You have no need to hide, you can handle the truth. When all around you seems dark, you emerge, a pale crystalline structure in the dark.
You have seen the little domestic cats as they stroll languidly about the house. Always proud and never apologetic, they tolerate the attentions of the people around them with grace and dignity. They have a reputation to uphold. Their ancestor is the goddess Bastet, protector of the king and defender of the helpless.
The flash when you look into the tiger's eye strung around your neck reminds you of the power of the ancient goods, sleeping so soundly with their followers beneath the sands of Egypt. Bastet watches over you when you travel, smiling beneficently at your friends while snarling at your enemies.
She watches over you, but she watches inside you as well. She sees in your soul and helps you to stay true and steadfast. She stops you from abusing the power that comes to you. She teaches wisdom, gives council and unsheaths her claws when things get out of hand. A lucky woman lives within the protective embrace of the magnificent Bastet.
Unakite is a stone for love. The Greek 'epodes' translates to growing together. It's not a stone for the kind of story where credits roll and -POOF- the heroine finds herself eating cream cakes and singing to forest animals for eternity. It's a stone for keeps.
Unakite never promises castles in the sky, it's a stone of union, hard and reassuringly real. It is a stone that understands making up is sometimes the best part. It is a stone for the long run, it finds lost things and mends holes in the fabric of your personal reality. It encourages those involved to make peace.
So wear your string of stones. Charge them with your thoughts and desires. Seek out that partner whose imperfections match your own so tightly. Unakite will be with you all the way.
You watch as the young one giggles and takes another sip. They flock around as she gets progressively more intoxicated. The conversation becomes more patronizing as she finishes another glass.
You watch, but you aren’t concerned. She is young and pretty - but far too foolish. Like a moth in a flame she burns brightly for a brief time. You will watch as she falls, as so many others have done. Your attraction is more sedate, enduring. Let him have his fun, he is coming home with you at the end of the night - when all is said and done.
In earlier times, Amethyst was worn to protect the wearer from drunkenness. Soldiers wore amethyst charms into battle to keep them cool headed and to heal their wounds more quickly. The social battleground is no less deadly. For your own protection sling this string of Lavender amethyst around your neck. The cool pastels will match perfectly and when everyone else is losing their heads, you can calmly pick them up to add to your trophy collection.
Cherry Creek Jasper
You walk beneath the cloud of blushing blossoms, your feet leaving curious mottled green and brown trails in the carpet of petals. Now is the time for contemplation, to admire the transience and fragility.
You watch as a child wanders through the grove. She is unaware of your scrutiny. Blossoms decorate her dark hair and she laughs and skips, enjoying the day. You could be sad - to think of your own girlhood - but this is not really a time for sadness. No stage of life is empty of joy, and you would not wish yourself back in time.
You laugh too, softly, as you turn away, your step firm and regrets left behind in the trail of blossoms.
Mexican Picture Jasper
Jasper is known as a stone that protects against the hazards of the night. Bad dreams and things that go bump are wary around this stone. You wear the necklace of Mexican Jasper as you sip your tequila and think about the past day.
You sigh and add another slice of lime. The heat of the night washes over you and you surrender to its warm and humid touch. Respectability is lovely at times but there is no need for it here, you leave it in the corner with your other garments, draped across a chair to prevent wrinkling.
Carnelian’s kiss of orange under the filmy fabric of your veil is entrancing. You move gracefully in the circle, the silken cloth billows out behind you. You are dancing because the music sings in your soul, because the rhythm is part of you, like a heartbeat. It is difficult but you know that you are good. You are aware of the effect you are having on him. His face is warmer even than yours now.
The carnelian you wear on the dance floor recalls dances preformed in the past. Sometimes you need to speak in a language that everyone can understand. Carnelian has adorned rulers of all kinds, kings and queens, sultans and pashas over the centuries. It knows its regal heritage and sits complacent on your neck, feeling it is in its rightful place.
Labrador, where this stone comes from, is a challenging place. Not for the faint of heart with its cold winters and bitter winds coming in off the Atlantic. The grey colouring in the sone reflects the colour of the sea on a cold morning as it drives against the rocky shore. When it catches the light, the refractions of the stone’s cleavages shine a startling royal blue.
There you sit, composed as always. Soft contours of your flesh are not repeated in your eyes. The warmth you show him at night is only part of you, the depths that he has not yet seen are as grey and unpredictable as the sea. You can be soothing, accommodating and nurturing. But everyone knows you should never turn your back on the sea.
Once, in the early days, he said that he worshipped you, or your body at least. The soft outline of your flesh brought out his protective instincts and fired his loins for want of you. As a stone, turquoise is softer than most and these stones vary in sizes, creating a soft flowing contour that mimics the curves of the woman whose neck it adorns.
Turquoise is a holy stone and requires regular worship. Not just homage paid on scuffed knees once a week, but true devotion paid daily. The traditional bright blue has been tempered with veins of iron, changing the cheerful stone into a more somber and impressive specimen. Chinese turquoise demands respect, fidelity and adoration. Be a good girl for once, give it what it needs.
This pretty little set of stones is the new neighbour. She is still moving in, the dust covers haven't even been taken off the sofa yet. Ruby Zoisite is the unwritten book in the life of your social circle. Underneath it's placid, tri colour exterior it could be anything. It might have a sordid past. It could have a history more colourful than a bed of roses. It might be in trouble from the law.
Or it could be the placid, honest respectable stone it claims to be with its string of perfect pearls. It certainly doesn't carry it's history on it's sleeve. Anything it may have done before moving into your neighbourhood is locked within its ruby heart - and its not about to tell you!
So be a good neighbour. Make a cake and put it on your second-best stand. Ring the bell and introduce yourself to the new next-door-neighbour.
Rainbow Petrified Wood
You drift in your sleep state and dream of the distant past. The images flicker across your eyelids, whispers and memories, insubstantial and fleeting. In your mind's eye, you see the ground race beneath you, feel the air hot and moist in your lungs.
The moon rises as you race on. Your hair whips around you in the wind. You are powerful and fearless, an unrivalled huntress. The forest creatures quake in the wake of your passing as your scream of triumph echoes in the night air.
Noreena is the superhero of jaspers. She was born to wear tights and bustiers. She can run in heels. She doesn’t hide in the shadows cloaked in her subtlety, she shouts, WOW! BOOM! KAPOW!
When Noreena is around, humanity is safe.
Wear this string when you are having a super day. You will find it easier to leap tall buildings in a single bound or run faster than a speeding bullet. Its mild manner is deceptive, this stone packs a punch!
Obsidian is nature’s mirror. In past times this glass stone was polished to a high sheen and used as a looking glass by women whose faces flickered on its surface in the glow from the fire. This stone was also prized for its edges. Obsidian holds an edge that is finer and sharper than any made from steel or metal.
You are as versatile as the obsidian in this necklace. You can reflect the personalities around you, showing the world the face it sees in the mirror. It is comfortable for those around you to see their own reflections. It reassures them of their own identities. When you judge the time is right, you turn and show your other side, cutting away the taint with surgical precision. You do not shrink from unpleasant truths, you deal with them and carefully discard them when you are done.
They have often been mistaken, those men who write the books that get taken for history. Following generations do not often take into account that history is written by the winners and they weren’t always the kind of people you would want to invite for dinner.
You think of this, of mistakes made as you fasten the clasp of your red jasper necklace. You count the pearls and find solace in the rhythm of the numbers. When you face your demons, you want to look your best too.
Half-close your eyes and the landscape of the Australian outback becomes a uniform colour. It is deceptive. At first glance it looks empty. It lacks the grandiose peaks and dramatic valleys of other landscapes. It is unapologetic. It is not eager to please.
You too do not feel the need to apologize for your attitude. You have your own way as always. Not everyone sees the world the way you do, but you can wait for them to catch up.
No moss grows on you, you are industry itself. You are heated with an inner fire, far below the surface. When rhyolite is formed by the earth it begins as hot magma. When it erupts, it can be highly explosive. I think you know the feeling. Driving the kids to soccer, then ballet and remedial maths. You simmer quietly, dutifully listening to their complaints about the unfairness of the world.
As a quiet reminder of your molten core, your fiery inner self, you wear your subdued mossy green pearls beneath your sensible scarf. You feel the connection with the stone, the sense of belonging that comes from the shared birthplace in the heart of the volcano. Just like you, the stones are calm now, but as your body transfers its now meagre warmth to the stones, they remember the beginning.
Up against a dangerous foe, you are outnumbered and afraid. You would be a fool if you weren’t - and you are certainly not that. Fear is not something you shy away from, you take strength from it.
The rush of adrenaline feeds your system and pinpoints of light that flash from the flecks of mica in the blue sandstone around your neck.
You rush headlong into the maelstrom, your feet are sure in their footing, the wind is rushing past your face and curling through your hair. You raise your face to the sun and feel alive, in the way that only danger makes you feel.
Pearls with Amazonite
Just like you, pearls go with everything. Maybe in the tiny brains of the soft harmless oysters, there rests a longing for teeth. Not the smooth hard flatness of a protective shell, but the hard biting surface of a tooth. The pearl is the oysters dream of growing a biting surface.
As a decoration, you drape these dream teeth about your neck. They set off the subdued pastel tones of your sweater to perfection. But like the oyster, you dream at night of darker things. You dream of a heated jungle, the moist, damp waves of warmth rising into the leafy canopy as you wait, motionless for the correct moment. We all dream of something out of our reach, but in your case, all you need to do is stretch your arm above you and grab hold.
The die is cast. The card is turned. There is no going back now. But you don’t need to second guess yourself. You know the way the wind is blowing, you have heard the calls and answered them in your own tongue, in your own time.
The serene blue and green stones around your neck lie calmly, unaffected. They are as sure of your decisions as you are. You don’t bother to look at the cards life has dealt you this time. You know what they are. You caused them to be. There is no random chance anymore. All the calculations have been made, all the possibilities have been explored. You have no fear of what will turn up next. Now is your time to sit back as luck slides over you like a second skin.
Hold your tongue. Bite back those words. Control your temper, you will be grateful later. Reticence now may save trouble later. Words are a powerful weapon, they can poison, debase or destroy. They can also buoy, empower or embrace.
Think hard as you stand before them. Hold your clever tongue behind your strong white teeth. Wait for the right time, make every word count. Wear your blue chalcedony, as Cicero did in that ancient forum, and use your cultivated power of the spoken word to leave your own mark in the history of your world.
Print, assemble, enjoy!
Paper Bag Sheep Puppet 2015
8F 400 Portland Street