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Caught In the Storm, Dance in the Rain

The Four Winds Cuff Bracelet Top View

On a day that was supposed to be filled with violet skies, the heavens are lapis instead.

No rain; the meteorologists continue to get it all wrong for our small world here. This is not unexpected, though, for either of us: We both looked at the radar days ago, at the patterns of the days preceding this, and had already concluded that no storm would be forthcoming. As dry as it is here now, that’s a problem, but even so, the warm air and blue skies are welcome nonetheless.

Even the wind is a bit less cold than . it has been, and that development is most certainly welcome. Spring is the trickster season, wind and weather, storms and other spirits, but for now, the four winds have blessed us with the beauty of warmer days.

These less mischievous but no less powerful spirits find equally beautiful expression in today’s featured work, one named expressly for these elemental forces. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

The Four Winds Cuff Bracelet Side 2

The Four Winds Cuff Bracelet

The Four Winds move and shape our world, within the storm and without. In this cuff, Wings honors their elemental power with this return to one of his own informal signature series and an old classic, traditional Native style of silverwork. It begins with a beautifully simple band of heavy, solid nine-gauge sterling silver, hammered by hand on both sides in the old way, with hundreds of strikes of a silversmith’s hammer, to create a spectacularly refractive surface. On the inner band, a long line of directional arrows traces the length of the center, some consecutive, others reversed, still others pointing outside their slender line, representing the wind’s own changes of direction, sometimes capricious, sometimes intentional. On the band’s surface, its sole adornment consists of four square bezel-set lapis lazuli cabochons set next to each other at the center, each stone lightly domed and the brilliant cobalt blue of deep waters and stormy skies, each represent one of the winds of the Four Sacred Directions. Ends and edges are all filed by hand, with each end rounded and smoothed, also by hand, for comfort. The band is 6″ long and 6/16″ across; each lapis cabochon is 6/16″ square (dimensions approximate). Other views shown at the link.

Sterling silver; lapis lazuli
$1,675 + shipping, handling, and insurance

From the moment of its completion, this work became an immediate favorite of mine. The spectacular color and beauty of the lapis cabs set against the shimmering power of the heavy hand-hammered cuff was enough to ensure that. But the symbolism clinched it: the talismanic imagery of the number four, channeling the elemental power of wind and storm. For a child of the storm, such a piece is magnetic, electric.

Child of the storm I may be, but I like my weather straightforward in its power and fury. Spring’s capricious indecision is not for me; I find it irritating at the best of times, and downright troubling too often to count. In a season when the trickster spirits rule, a little talismanic power is as welcome as the rain so long denied our dry and dusty land. After all, the four winds may bring the storm, but in doing so, they bring life itself.

There are worse places to be than the vortex: caught in the storm, dance in the rain.

 ~ Aji










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