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Light From the Dust of Day and Night

In the hours before dawn, the dark skies cleared, stars like diamonds scattered through the night. To the south, a luminous glow stretched above the horizon: the dust light of the fading night, reflected off the snow through layers of smoke onto a single veil of cloud above the town’s streetlamps, a band of pale and amber and smoky brown illuminating a dark not yet ready to recede.

Up here, the skies wore the ice-cold robes of perfect clarity, beaded with starlight and the shimmer of planets near enough to see with the naked eye. But that swatch of dusty gold lent a little mystery to the indigo hours, a little beauty to compensate for the harsh pinpoints of artificial light.

Dawn has arrived in a coral glow, but the dust light will appear again this evening, in all likelihood — sunset as seen through a veil of woodsmoke and the clouds of the next impending storm, catching the crystalline shimmer of the snow and refracting it into the heavens. At this season, it is less the dust of the earth than of particles of ash and wood, but it comes to much the same thing in the end: bands of shimmering light, amber, bronze, smoky quartz, like the molten chatoyant eyes of the small and radiant spirit so recently departed for other planes of existence.

Such conditions produce skies like those in today’s featured work, a pair of earrings from Wings’s most recent contributions to one of his signature series. From their description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Dust Light Earrings

This is a place of extremes, of harsh weather and harder winds that create a mysterious phenomenon of dust light, our world illuminated in shades of earthy silhouette behind a veil of sand and smoke. Wings’s fourth entry in his signature series, revisited, of earrings that honor the light evokes the hazy shimmer of such magic in traditional silver form and jewels of chatoyant dark. Each drop is a perfectly circle domed from beneath, repoussé-fashion, t0 create a softly rounded concha. Across the front, an eight-pointed star extends to cardinal and ordinal points by way of hand-stamped spokes fanning outward around the center. Each spoke ends in a hoop whose task it is to link the lodge pattern, radiant with the literal and metaphorical light, that lies between each tiny circle. At the center of the starburst, in a sawtoothed bezel, sits a single round cabochon of luminous tiger’s eye, each glowing with earthy fire like sun and moon behind the desert dust. Conchas are polished to a soft Florentine finish; tiny silver jump rings attach the earrings securely to sterling silver wires. Earrings are 7/8″ across (excluding jump rings and wires); cabochons are 3/16″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; tiger’s eye
$350 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Now, the clouds have moved in overhead again; fog has drifted around the horizon, holding what warmth exists close to the earth. Only a pale golden glow lightens the southeastern sky behind its gray veil. The clouds will burn off eventually; the afternoon will be clear and harsh, and the demands of the day with it.

But we can look forward to the warmth of the fire, to light from the dust of day and night.

~ Aji








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