Forest animal necklace
The forest animal necklaces are an ode to the fauna I share the forest I call home with. On my walks, in my cottage studio or from my bedroom window in the evenings, I hear them, see them - creatures just as full of life as any human; calling to their mates, fending off threats, caring for their young. It's been a labour of love to will these into metal, and it's my pleasure to present them here:
-The raven; a silhouette and an unmistakable, dry caw reveals their presence, and in Swedish folklore we can read about the mysterious raven stone - when a female raven is 100 years old, she lays an egg, and the person who finds it is granted the gift of invisibility if they put it in their mouth. But, as always, dealing with magical objects has its consequences - the stone is made from the eyes of a hundred criminals, and the person using it will inevitably end up in the gallows before long…
-The owl; the most common owl where I live is the tawny owl, a greyish owl who protects their nest fiercely. It is one of the earliest signs of spring - its cry before midnight on cold, clear February nights, saying spring is slowly, silently moving in. It’s a sound I cherish, but old folk tales deem it a bad omen - the female sounds like she’s crying “klevitt, klevitt, klevitt”, which in Swedish can be interpreted as “klä vitt” - dress in white - meaning death will soon strike.
-The hare; this long-legged animal is not just the frightened prey one easily imagines, but a creature with a deep connection to mythologies world wide. In many cultures, the hare is associated with the moon, the feminine aspects of life and with fertility. In Irish mythology, the hares are connected to the Otherworld and shapeshifters can take on their form and walk our realm, as in the story about the Celtic warrior Oisin who hunted a hare, and after injuring it found a beautiful woman bleeding from her leg sitting on a throne on the other side of the thicket.
-The fox; the original trickster in many different folk stories, the fox is a cunning and opportunistic creature feeding on everything from seed and berries to voles and carcasses. My favourite story of the fox is Fox woman dreaming, which I first heard Martin Shaw tell. I won’t take up this short space by retelling it in text, but you can hear it in Martin’s voice here.
Each forest animal charm is hand sawed in two layers of fine silver. It has a crescent shaped circle with two small rings to put the chain through, and a small succulent bud to celebrate the season. Each animal has a plaque stamped with my maker’s mark LHL and a 925 silver stamp on the back. The charm hangs from a 70 cm long trace chain with a hand fabricated Argentium silver clasp. Both the chain and the pendants are oxidised and polished.