Rabbits and bunnies are constants in myth and folklore, across the centuries, across cultures, across religious beliefs.
From saying "rabbit, rabbit" first thing on the first morning of a month to bring luck to carrying a lucky rabbit's foot, rabbits have long been associated with luck, and longevity and, interestingly, the moon and its feminine characteristics.
In many Asian cultures, there is a rabbit-in-the-moon, just as we have our man-in-the-moon. In Chinese culture, the rabbit in the moon has a mortar and pestle and is mixing the elixir of immortality.
The Celts believed that rabbits could carry messages from humankind to the fairies, interesting, since fairies are believed to inhabit the "verges" between grassland and woodland, and rabbits are hedgerow creatures.
And in many Native American cultures, the rabbit is seen as a rascally, mischievous trickster of a character.
If you are interested in learning more about rabbits in myth and folklore, check out this pagehttps://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2014/12/the-folklore-of-rabbits-hares.htmlwww.terriwindling.com/blog/2014/12/the-folklore-of-rabbits-hares.html
It's been awhile since I have posted in my blog and one of my resolutions for 2019 is to do better with it! I have an idea of doing regular posts called "What's the Story?" and focusing on my limited collections, perhaps giving you a glimpse into what inspires them, a peek into works in progress, and maybe give you a chance to leave me some comments that give me insight into how you view my work.
So, I am starting with my Folklore Collection, the sterling pieces.
All of my life, I have been a voracious reader and I think the result of that is that my head is chock full of vivid impressions and images that leapt from the pages of those many, many books and stories. The Folklore Collection reflects much of my fantasy/fairy tale/ folktale reading.
Mischievous, graceful bunnies; so quiet and mysterious, but so brave in their own way. The clever fox, canine and feline all at once, and stunningly beautiful to boot. Elegant swans, who carry themselves so regally. All have been focal figures in legend and folklore through the centuries.
I have featured them all in this collection, and there is more to come. Stay tuned as I consider each of the collection's "stars," and talk about the works, the legends and the process.
So, there is a mysterious new category on our front page -- what is Seventeen for '17?
Well, who doesn't love a sale? How about a whole bunch of sales?
Seventeen for '17 is all the sale you could ever need. Periodically, I will choose 17 items and put them on sale in the Seventeen for '17 category. Price is marked, no need for a coupon code. The sale goes on for 7 days and then -- poof! It's over.
I am kicking it off with rings. This is a great chance to snatch up a ring you may have admired, but just weren't sure about buying just yet. Some of these rings are current and will, after the sale, simply return to their regular price on the site. But others are truly one of a kind, some made as samples in my jewelry classes and some are examples of very early Kissing Dog designs.
Check often to see what is occupying the Seventeen for '17 category next!
My friend Catherine loves dogs. Her business, Paws Please Dog Training revolves around them, and with her expert help, we have seen our own Eddie make giant strides toward becoming the "awesome" dog she believes he can be. I have immense respect for her and her almost magical abilities with dogs.
That's why I was so honored when she asked me to make a special piece of jewelry to honor her own first dog, Hanna, recently lost.
The piece, a reliquary for Hanna's ashes, is Catherine's own design. She showed me her initial sketch and I thought I simply had to interpret it, to the best of my ability, exactly as drawn, in its heartfelt perfection.,
There are so many challenges to making a piece designed by someone who doesn't do metalwork and so can't know how a 2 dimensional sketch becomes a 3 dimensional piece. And Catherine provided me with the additional challenge of wanting this to be a bracelet on a leather strap!
I am pleased with the result and so very happy to say that she loves it. RIP Hanna, you were, and still are, very loved.
Being asked to make a special piece is always a thrill. I've been fortunate to have a number come my way this past month, but two of them got me thinking.
One, the subject of this post, gave me complete freedom and control over the design process. My instruction was: make a "wow" of a ring.
The woman for whom the ring is a retirement gift is a friend, so I am lucky enough to have a sense of her taste and I knew she like Moss Agate stones, so I had a bit of intelligence to go on.
Further, she is the retiring director of the Oneida Community Mansion House, so perhaps I could work in something that might reference the Oneida Community.
Most famously known for their flatware, the Oneida Community also produced animal traps and silk thread and strawberries. Hmm. No, none of those would work.
In the end, I chose to surround a spectacular moss agate and obsidian doublet with gallery wire that I think is reminiscent of flatware patterns. On the back of the setting, I pierced the Celtic triskele, a symbol that came up in all of my searches for symbols of community, family and unity. The shank of the ring is designed as a cigar band style, with an "O" (for Oneida) cutout through with the triskele can be seen.
Such a joy to design a piece entirely out of my own head, but next up, the joy of interpreting someone else's vision into metal!
We are poised.
Winter's stark and elegant black, white and sepia tones are about to bid us goodbye. The peeks of color are everywhere.
More blue sky days.
Purple and yellow crocus, pure white snowdrops.
The green of delicate new stems and even some greening grass.
A touch here, A stroke there.
Soon, the explosion of color I crave! And light, glorious light!
Happy spring, everyone.
I had the rare treat of having coffee this afternoon with a wonderful woman, a friend, who is also a sustaining Kissing Dog customer. As a matter of fact, we were talking some custom work.
This friend travels a great deal as part of her work and, to my great delight, whenever she goes, she takes Kissing Dog jewelry as gifts! Hence, my jewelry is all over the place -- it has traveled and now resides in places I have never been and most likely never will be.
I came away from this talk with such a sense of wonder that, although I have never been to Australia, for example, some part of me is there through my work.
What a great feeling. Thanks, Ellen!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Ideas come from everywhere, it seems. I get most of my ideas when I am outside, enjoying nature. Nothing gets my creative juices flowing like a good walk on a sunny day. Walking is so meditative and allows my thoughts to wander right along with my feet.
I also find gardening inspiring. Pulling weeds is meditative, too!
So I guess it's fitting that this new series is a tribute to the garden. I love flowers and color and the sweet smell of leaves and grass in the summer. Deep in winter as we are, even this mild winter, I find myself longing for that. I find that in February, my preferred color palette changes dramatically -- I don't want to look at anything that isn't blue or aqua, spring green or pale, pale, pale pink.
As I tidied up my studio these past weeks, I came upon these beautiful beads kept in a box labeled "fruit salad." All of these colorful beads beg to be used in masses, creating the effect that in the 40s was known as "fruit salad" style.
Hence my new collection, "Jardin," French for garden. A reflection in jewelry of my longing for color and warmth and sunlight. I hope you find these pieces bring those things to mind for you, too.
Once, no civilized table would have been complete without a utensil for virtually everything you can imagine -- fish forks, lettuce forks,oyster servers, even ice cream knives. Finger bowls. And, something you hardly ever see on the table anymore, knife rests.
And that's too bad, because knife rests can do so much more than just keep your table linens clean. They can add elegance, wit and verve to the table setting. Great conversation starters.
Where do your knives lay their heads? How about this set of hand cut and polished Lucite fox and hare knife rests from KDD? One of the first attempts in what I hope to be an expanding line of KDD home goods.
Let me know your thoughts! And, I'd love to hear what you might like to see from KDD, in the way of home goods. Let me know in the comments!
A few months ago, my husband came home with two copies of Marie Kondo's popular book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
What a tempting dream this book presents -- I confess I always fall for the idea that someday, somehow, I can get my life in order. My house, my car, my studio -- all in order. Even my pets will be perfectly behaved and immaculately groomed.
Reality is a bit ... different.
However, I decided a few weeks ago to just dive in to something that's been bothering me for awhile now, actually for years -- my "boxes of shame." The boxes of shame are boxes filled with pieces of jewelry that have, in my opinion, fatal errors; or jewelry that didn't sell even after being in many galleries and shows. I put the pieces in these boxes, intending to take them apart and reuse the pieces and parts.
You know how that goes. Years have gone by and I have 4 large and dusty boxes.
So, I got into them. I have to tell you, it is kind of a pain, as well as painful. A pain to take all those bits and pieces and sort them, etc. Painful to see some of the work I attempted to sell -- yikes!
Life changing? Not exactly. But direction changing for a new spring collection? You bet! I have found wonderful beads and bits and pieces and am wildly inspired for a new spring collection that just drips color and romance. Above is an example piece. I'll be sharing more as they come along.
If I ever get out of those boxes ...