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A Transformative Spirit

A Radiant Storm Barrette 1

In the outside world, this holiday weekend has long marked the informal beginning of the summer season, even though the official marker remains more than three weeks away. Our own weekend here has been beautiful thus far, all clear skies and bright sunlight. This day, however, began below the freezing mark, and while the sun is now fully up and the air warming rapidly, it made for a distinctly unsummery dawn.

All that is projected to change tomorrow.

It has been an odd year, one in which winter days were distinctly warmer than much of the spring. Now, we are ten to twenty degrees below our norm for this time of year, the weeks chilly and marked by intermittent storms in the monsoonal pattern that traditionally forms in the latter half of the summer. And if the forecast is to be believed, that pattern will resurrect itself again for the remainder of the coming week.

Indeed, if current projections hold, we will not see eighty degrees for the next ten days, at a minimum — but we will see the weather patterns of the summer storm. It may not make for a warm week, but it will be one infused with its own mysterious and moody form of illumination. Here in this place, water and sky combine to create a radiant storm, one that brings with a powerfully beautiful, ethereal light.

These elemental powers find expression in Wings’s newest work, completed only yesterday. It’s one that summons the power of the storm, and its strange and stunning light, too, all in the form of stone and silver. From its description in the Accessories Gallery here on the site:

A Radiant Storm Barrette 2

A Radiant Storm Barrette

In this place, the storm carries its own light. Wings infuses its powerful radiance into stones and silver in this old-style barrette, a domed and highly stylized concha-like accessory held in place with an elegantly jeweled pick. At the barrette’s center lies a free-form Skystone, Bisbee turquoise in the colors of the thunderstorm: deep indigo clouded with wisps of red and violet. Set into a scalloped bezel and trimmed with twisted silver, the cabochon sits in the embrace of hand-stamped sun symbols radiating outward, extending into scalloped arches at top and bottom, and into four wing-like hand-scored, hand-stamped rays of silvery “rain” at either side. In the middle of each set of rays, near the edge, two hand-cut openings hold the pick, a long, slender column of solid silver set at one end with twinned cabochons fused back to back, each stone brilliantly striated malachite in deep evergreen hues. The barrette is 3″ wide by 1-5/16″ high at its highest point; the center cabochon is 7/8″ across by 3/4″ high at the highest point; the pick is 4 inches long, including the stones; each malachite cabochon is 3/8″ long by 5/16″ high (dimensions approximate). Another view at top.

Sterling silver; Bisbee turquoise; malachite
$850 + shipping, handling, and insurance

The changed weather patterns are, to be blunt, our own fault: not the fault of indigenous peoples per se, but of the outer world as a whole and the destruction it has wrought collectively upon the earth. Now, we are just beginning to reap its whirlwind, in altered weather and changed climatic response, in a thousand small inconveniences and too many enormities to name.

But in those inconveniences, perhaps as much as in the enormities, there are lessons to be learned . . . and, perhaps, aid to be found. Humans are given to regarding the storm as a burden, a source of fear and stress. But the storm is a transformative spirit, and an illuminating one, too, and we can learn much by its radiant light.

~ Aji







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