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Love, Spirit and Other Big Themes
August 6th, 2008MusingsMegan 6 Comments

I was originally going to title this post “Abstract Concepts and Jewelry”; just typing that I can hear the sound of crickets and peoples’ eyes rolling back in their heads from boredom.A year or two ago I was working at my bench when a thought suddenly struck me, “Why do I rarely see abstract concepts expressed in jewelry, yet see them conveyed regularly in almost every other visual medium?” (Please stay with me on this). I was thinking of ‘love’ in particular. There are numerous non-representational paintings and sculptures that convey a sense of love, yet to express this in jewelry I normally see the word stamped into the metal or the use of a heart motif.

This began to nag at me.

I wouldn’t presume to tackle something like love, but another concept came to me: spiritual energy. I had just read Madame Blavatsky’s Baboon by Peter Washington ( a wonderful book describing many of the spiritual groups and beliefs that emerged from the nineteenth century), when I began to wonder if I could convey a sense of spiritual energy, or the idea of spirits gathering around us, in my work.

What evolved from this experiment are two pieces; a ring and a pendant. I chose a spiral motif because it is such an ancient symbol and also has a sense of movement to it. The ring is titled “Gathering Spirits” and illustrates just that: a multitude of spirals undulating around the wearer’s finger. The pendant is a little more out there. Because of Madame Blavatsky, I began to imagine what I would see if I looked down into a crystal ball. The pendant shows this view: a turquoise cabochon with spiral
s swirling around it.

To be very honest, while I created pieces I’m happy with, I’m not sure how successful I was in conveying “Spiritual Energy”. I’m sure this is an idea I will be tackling for many years to come.

This brings me back to my original question: Why is it so difficult to convey abstract thought in jewelry?
I don’t have the answer, but I would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on the subject.

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'6 Responses to “Love, Spirit and Other Big Themes”'
  1. Analise says:

    Those are very beautiful pieces, and I can certainly see what you’re going after with them.

    Though I think the bottom spiral on the pendant looks more like a rose. 🙂 Either way, it’s gorgeous!

    (I saw you posting in one of the blog threads on Etsy, for the record)

  2. Megan Steer says:

    Thank you so much! I know what you mean about the rose- sometimes I can’t seem to get away from them.

  3. Sarah Wolff says:

    I love the idea of Madame Blavatsky staring into her crystal ball! I totally see that in the pendant, which I think is beautiful.

    I also think you convey these themes well when you’re working with moonstone, which has that crystal-ball quality to it already. I am thinking of the ring you made me when I was about to have surgery. Do you remember that one?

    You are so gifted with all those fun stones and you know I am into anything that could even vaguely be construed as Stevie Nicks-esque. “Spirits gathering” is probably going to be the title of a song on her new album, my dear!

    xoxo love you

  4. Sarah Wolff says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Margaret says:

    Your work is beautiful.

  6. Cool Jewlry you hsvr in your blog :)!!

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