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To Engage With The Sacred

Spirit Fans Ingot Cuff

Periodically, Wings returns to his silversmithing roots, seeking to explore new ways of conceiving and creating old traditional styles. Recently, he’s begun working once again with his rolling mill, a piece of equipment generally used to form strands of silver shaped in specific geometries out of ingot — blocks or lengths of solid metal created by pouring the molten metal into a mold, allowing it to cool and harden, then breaking the mold open around it. Such methods are especially conducive to creating slender cuff bracelets in various three-dimensional patterns.

Now, of course, old-fashioned rolling mills can be used in other ways, as well. One example is through the use of patterned templates: plates made of heavy cardstock, clay, or metal from which an overall pattern, very often a repeating one has been excised, as with a stencil. The template is loaded, or inserted, into a specific part of the mill, and as the silver is rolled through it, the template transfers the pattern directly to the surface of the metal.

Wings has plates in a half-dozen or so different designs, and his first completed cuff is the one featured here. It’s an exceptionally elegant design, one of graceful feathers arranged, fan-like, with each iteration set at an angle to the next, this pattern repeating across the length and width of the template.They resemble the prayer fans our people use in ceremony and healing, giving rise to the work’s name. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

Prayer Fans Cuff Bracelet

Prayer fans send our hopes and dreams, thanks and pleas spiraling skyward to the spirits on tendrils of purifying smoke. Wings evokes their beauty and power in this eighteen-gauge sterling silver cuff, hand-milled in a geometric design of fanned feathers, gently swaying in purposeful motion. The band is simple in the extreme, a perfect slender rectangle beveled at the sides and rounded comfortably at the ends. The feathery pattern, gently raised in light relief on the surface, runs the entire length of the cuff. The band is 6.75″ long by 7/8″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver
$525 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Sometimes, the simplest designs are the best: They summons the spirit that inhabits a work, giving shape and form to its substance and symbolism. Such is the case with this piece, one that is as spare as it is spirit-filled, a perfect embodiment of what it means, in our indigenous world, to engage with The Sacred.

Prayer is a way of life for us: for acknowledgment, for thanksgiving, for pleas for assistance; for celebration and ceremony; for Medicine in all its forms. The fan sends our own prayers just a little farther, and brings The Sacred just a little closer to us, too.

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