We all have the desire to belong and to connect. From the first cave drawings to today's company logos or school mascots, we have used shared symbols to communicate with each other, form social and religious communities, remember together, comfort or inspire each other, and celebrate the moments of our lives.
Symbols reflect what we are often unable to put into words. At times language barriers or just the right words can escape us. But the symbols of those words speak a universal language and they can speak volumes.
Whether its earrings bearing a swan symbolizing beauty and grace, cufflinks cast with the lion signifying deathless courage, or a charm with an anchor symbolizing hope, I hope you find an inspirational talisman that speaks to you or someone you care about!
As a first generation American, I experienced first-hand how language barriers affect the way we communicate and connect. While I never heard my parent's heavy accents, friends would often say "I called your house, but some foreign person answered the phone." As a child, I didn't correct my parents or speak for them in public, but what I saw when people couldn't understand them was the same thing most people do - first, we speak louder, as if somehow the change in volume will translate our words, then we revert to drawing or acting out common actions and symbols.
Inspiration for my symbolic wax seal jewelry came after I created a silver wax seal pendant from the antique initial "W" wax seal stamp I had used on the invitations for my husband's grandfather's 90th birthday. Granddad, the patriarch of our family, had suffered a stroke and I felt the women in the family needed something to better connect us to him and to each other. I was surprised to see the reaction to this talisman, even from those who usually aren't sentimental.
When Granddad passed away, I searched for the symbol for deep sorrow—which is the willow tree—to create a charm for my mother-in-law, but couldn’t find a wax seal stamp anywhere. Desperate, I carved the willow tree out of wax and cast a stamp to create a pendant for her in time for the funeral. The response to that talisman fueled my passion to search for symbols and to create my meaningful jewelry.
Captivated by the enduring symbolism, the old-world artistry, and rich history of Medieval Era and Victorian Era wax seals, I started collecting them, along with antique and vintage wax stamps, and intaglios from the Grand Tour to use as tools to handcraft silver and bronze wax seal talisman into jewelry and gift items that communicate a special message.
The nature of the handmade process, as well as the cracks and flaws in the wax seals gives every piece a truly unique feel with each differing slightly with its own variations and beauty. The Japanese refer to this as wabi sabi - an appreciation of things imperfect. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the marks that time, weather and loving use leave behind which add uniqueness and elegance to the object.
From my home studio in Spokane, Washington, I handcraft each piece individually, with the support of my loving husband and two loyal dogs by my side.