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On Autumn Winds, Small Wings of Light

The air is cold, the horizon wrapped in gray. The day dawns in shades of pink and silver.

Rina is forecast for next week, but for now, the clouds that embrace this autumn morning retreat in the face of insufficiently-distant smoke from the west.

This is the time of year when the mercury swings forty or fifty degrees in less than a single day, every day: highs in the eighties, lows in the forties or less. It’s hard on us, certainly; harder still on the wild creatures, unsure whether to stay or to go.

We had two such visitors yesterday, one a butterfly that spiraled past the upstairs windows on a southwesterly course. It appeared to be our lone monarch, returned for a moment while the sun still warms the land. September is monarch season here, a stopping point on their journey south, but we have had only the one all year, and it has shown itself perhaps three or four times in all.

The second visitor was more surprising: a large silver dragonfly, its ethereal wings underlit with hints of pink, dancing on the light. It was the tiny messenger spirit’s second visit this week, well out of season. Even in an ordinary year, the dragonflies tend to be gone by early to mid-September. And this has been no ordinary year.

It doers, however, make this a perfect time to highlight one of Wings’s eminently traditional works — and an unusual one, insofar as it is a set, rather than a pair of discrete items offered separately. It’s a coordinating necklace and earrings wrought in the old way, what’s now known as “vintage-style,” each piece hammered out of ingot and stamped with the image of our late-visiting spirit. Because it is offered as a set, it appears in both the Necklaces Gallery and the Earrings Gallery here on the site. From its description in the former:

Dancing On the Light Necklace and Earrings Set

Dragonflies are messengers of love and joy, small spirits dancing on the light. Wings pays tribute to their outsized power and ethereal beauty, and to the old ways of silversmithing, with this necklace-and-earrings set wrought vintage-style in sterling silver ingot. The necklace, shown in close-up below, is crafted of ingot silver, molten, poured, and hammered by hand into a roughly circular medallion, its flowing uneven edges evoking the traditional Native pendants of more than a century past. The surface is highly polished but left texturized with the ingot’s natural divots and lines. Centered upon it, Wings has evoked a dragonfly out of a collection of five separate stamped motifs: a single large hoop for the head, eight smaller hoops arcing below to form the body, two tiny waves for antennae, and two pairs of arrowhead symbols to create the wings. Not quite abstract, Dragonfly here is nonetheless highly stylized and summoned out of simple geometric shapes to dance on the silvery surface of the light. The pendant is hand-drilled at the top and hangs suspended from by a sterling silver jump ring from sturdy sterling silver snake chain. Pendant hangs roughly 1-1/8″ long by 1-1/8″ across at the widest point; chain is 20″ long (dimensions approximate). Matching earrings are shown in close-up in the Earrings Gallery; sold as a set.

Sterling silver ingot
$625 + shipping, handling, and insurance

As noted above, the earrings are featured in the Earrings Gallery, too, although the pieces are sold together. From their description in that gallery:

Dancing On the Light Necklace and Earrings Set

Dragonflies are messengers of love and joy, small spirits dancing on the light. Wings pays tribute to their outsized power and ethereal beauty, and to the old ways of silversmithing, with this necklace-and-earrings set wrought vintage-style in sterling silver ingot. The earrings, shown in close-up below, are crafted of ingot silver, molten, poured, and hammered by hand into roughly circular medallions, their flowing uneven edges evoking the traditional Native earrings of more than a century past. The surface of each is highly polished but left texturized with the ingot’s natural divots and lines. Centered upon each, Wings has evoked a dragonfly out of a collection of three separate stamped motifs: twelve tiny hoops for head and gracefully curving body, two gently sawing stalks for antennae, and two zigzagging pairs of symbols that represent, variously, lightning and flowing water to create the wings. Not quite abstract, Dragonfly here is nonetheless highly stylized and summoned out of simple geometric shapes to dance on the silvery surface of the light. The pendant is hand-drilled at the top and hangs suspended from by a sterling silver jump ring from sturdy sterling silver snake chain. Earrings hang roughly 1″ long by 7/8″ across at the widest point, excluding wires (dimensions approximate). Matching necklace is shown in close-up in the Necklaces Gallery; sold as a set.

Sterling silver ingot
$625 + shipping, handling, and insurance

This has been a week filled with wingéd messenger spirits here: the red-tailed hawk and an errant Swainson’s; flickers and hairy woodpeckers, the monarch and the dragonfly. We look upon their visitations as good omens for the winter to come — which, here and especially now, means a winter filled with heavy snows.

For now, though, the days are still warm, the air clear and bright (at least when the Forest Service is not setting the earth on fire). And at this moment, the sun has crested the peaks and fought free of the fringe of clouds that overhangs them. This day is softer-edged than most lately, arriving in pale muted shades edged in silver. It’s still enough of Indian Summer, a day perhaps gentle enough, to bring this tiny being back to us once more — on autumn winds, small wings of light.

~ Aji

 

 

 

 

 

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error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.