My mother recently commented that all the jewelry I’ve been creating lately has an element of transformation, “Snakes and cicadas: shedding skin and change!”.
I broke out laughing. I hadn’t consciously realized this, but of course! These are topics that have been weighing heavily on my mind, so naturally they would come out in my work.
Snakes are one of my favorite motifs in jewelry. They represent wisdom, transformation, healing and when their tails are in their mouths, eternal life (the ouroboros). A snake ring that has captivated me for years is the golden serpent wrapped around Gloria Steinem’s right pinkie. She has unbelievably beautiful hands to begin with and with this ring they become mesmerizing. Given all that she has done in her life for equality I can’t think of a more powerful talisman.
I’d been meaning to create my own version of this ring for years, but just kept putting it off. I had a really disturbing evening a few weeks ago and found myself lying on my bed the next day, staring at the ceiling and thinking how much I didn’t want to repeat old patterns and bring negative energies into my life.
After about an hour of this wallowing it occurred to me that this would be the perfect time to make the snake ring. It would keep my brain and hands occupied and also serve as a reminder to shed unnecessary baggage and move on.
The ring that has emerged is a personal triumph for me: I carved the whole thing, in the round from a block of wax- this is something I wouldn’t have been able to do a year ago. More than any other piece of jewelry I’ve made this ring seems old. The snake looks like it has been around for thousands of years and would have a lot to say if asked.
I hadn’t set out to create a cicada; I just knew that I wanted to have an insect element in my collection. Suddenly, I kept seeing cicadas everywhere- they crept into my life until I had to acknowledge them. I finally had a dream where I saw a cicada through a veil of smoke and I knew that it had to be made.
The “Smoke Wing Cicada” ring is truly one of the most special pieces I’ve ever created. There is just something about it, it makes people smile..
So much transformation is occurring in all our lives: the New Year approaches, a new administration is coming in. Hopefully, there is much joy in store for all of us. It’s my personal wish that we can all get rid of the things, people and energy that weigh us down and keep us from leading the lives we are meant to lead. For me, snakes and cicadas serve as a visual reminder for this wish.
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly.