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A Braided Hoop of Light

Braided Suns Cuff BraceletWings’s media are silver and stone, solid, tangible materials that in his hands become light and shadow itself, substance and spirit.

He has four new works out, with more on the way, but one so perfectly suits this week’s subthemes of light and shadow, of the working of metal to live in the light, that there was no question that it would become today’s feature work. It’s one of those rare pieces that is not only more than the sum of its parts; its elements are wholly indivisible from each other, from silver to stone to stampwork to the skill and labor needed to summon it into existence.

It’s a cuff, a braided hoop of light, and it is pure magic. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

Braided Suns Cuff Bracelet Side 1

Braided Suns Cuff Bracelet

We live in a world of braided suns, a sacred hoop of the seasons strung around orbs of golden light. Wings honors the sun in all its angles and phases with this cuff, heavy nine-gauge sterling silver annealed to a velvety finish, hand-stamped in arcing conjoined sunrise patterns set opposite each other to form braids of light. Round tiger’s eye cabochons, brilliantly chatoyant and infused with rich color gradients from deep bronzed brown to bright yellow gold, are set into saw-toothed bezels equidistant along the band’s length, a sun for each season in varying shades of dark and light. The edges of the band are hand-filed silky-smooth, and the inner band is adorned with arced sunrises chased along wither edge, then linked across the band’s expanse by diagonal shafts of light erupting at the center in flowering radiance, the flowing lines all hand-struck to be meticulously equidistant and at identical angles. The band is 6.5″ long by 3/8″ across; the cabochons are 9/16″ across (dimensions approximate). Views of sides and inner band shown below.

Sterling silver; tiger’s eye
$1,475 + shipping, handling, and insurance

It’s a stunning piece, one made all the more spectacular by the amount of labor and quality of the work that went into it:

Braided suns Cuff Bracelet Inner Band

The inner band is a marvel of uniformity, all stamped entirely freehand, with no sketches, no rulers, no guides. It gives the cuff a secret sense of motion, as though the light actually dances next to the skin, a special gift only for the wearer.

But the outer surface is remarkable, too:

Braided Suns Cuff Bracelet Side 2

The annealing produces a texture not unlike velvet or silk. Combined with the buffing, the Florentine finish is very nearly white. The hand-work in the filing and buffing of the edges is also beautifully done, their surfaces equally silken.

This is an old traditional style: a narrow, yet solid and substantial heavy-gauge band, deeply stamped in repeating patterns and studded with domed cabochons at regular intervals. Combined with the metalwork and finish, it gives the cuff the appearance of a vintage piece, one wrought in the old way — as, indeed, it was.

On the wrist, it really does feel like wearing braided suns, each its own distinct personality, set against our world at its own seasonal angle. We often say that life itself is a sacred hoop, one that, once braided, should not be broken by outside forces. It’s a metaphor that extends to our world, too, a cosmic reminder that we live in a braided hoop of light.

~ Aji








All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2018; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

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