Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Necklace and a Newsletter

Yep, this post is pretty much about what it says on the tin! 

This week has not been as productive work-wise as I'd hoped, as I've been laid up with a nasty bug. However, I have tried to be busy, in between coughing and spluttering, it's just that my general pace has been slower. I've been working away at quite a lot of new pieces (preparing for something new that's in the pipeline - all will be revealed soon.....!), as well as a new Beads and Beyond project and a few commissions that I've fallen behind with due to the hectic past few months. Trying to catch up, as well as forging ahead! Especially as I'm off on holiday, basically as of tomorrow, and won't be back at home in Belfast until the 29th! (Never fear - I'll be taking a travelling kit along with me. As always....;-))

Anyway, back to the title of this post....here's the necklace I wanted to share with you today. I've entitled it Fire-Berries, and I wanted to talk a little bit about it and why. 

I recently got a new order through from one of my favourite art bead suppliers, Green Girl Studio, including this pretty pewter bird pendant. In it's beak it holds a berry, and as soon I saw it, an image - a memory - came into my mind. 
Some of my favourite books - both as a child, and still now, as an adult - are The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I'm not religious, so they don't have that particular resonance for me, but the stories - the stories! And the imagery, the wonderful characters and the landscapes and countries and worlds that he draws are just wonderful. I have them all on audiobook, read by an incredible and much-missed British actor, Michael Hordern, with the most beautiful, atmospheric music written and played by harpist Marissa Robles. I got as a gift on cassette when I was about 5, bought them again on cassette when I was about 18 as my first lot had well and truly died, replaced them on cd about 5 years ago, and then over the past year, I've been downloading them so I can listen to them on my phone. They really are THAT good - at least to me, who's been living with them in this particular version, for almost 30 years now. 
Anyway, BACK to the necklace.....as soon as I picked up the pendant, I knew that this particular bird was holding Fire-berries, which are in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Here's the extract from the book where the berries are mentioned:

“Aren’t you a star any longer?” asked Lucy.

“I am a star at rest, my daughter,” answered Ramandu. “When I set for the last time, decrepit and old beyond all that you can reckon, I was carried to this island. I am not so old now as I was then. Every morning a bird brings me a fire-berry from the valleys in the Sun, and each fire-berry takes away a little of my age. And when I have become as young as the child that was born yesterday, then I shall take my rising again (for we are at earth’s eastern rim) and once more tread the great dance.”
“In our world,” said Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”
“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of."
(And of course, in my audiobook version, this is accompanied by the most beautiful, haunting music, which I can near enough hear in my mind whilst reading these words.) 
For me, those berries were what I saw when I picked up this pendant. 

I had a stash of these wonderfully vibrant encased orange lampwork beads from Juli Cannon, and a wonderful etched lampwork disc from Helen Chalmers. Once I had them it all came together very naturally - knotted etched glass on one side, lampwork and pressed glass on the other. Another lovely touch to this is that the reverse of the pendant holds some of my favourite words from one of my favourite poets; Emily Dickinson:
"Hope is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul - "
You can read the full poem here

A very literary necklace! At least to me. It doesn't need to be for the wearer. That's the beauty of hidden words in jewellery. You know they're there if you want/need them to be. If you're more into pictorial imagery then you can forget the words.  
On to the second part of this blog post....I have, at long last, started a mailing list! Not much to say about this really, other than I would, of course, love you to sign up. I'm aiming for roughly one a month, with perhaps the odd extra one thrown in for good luck if I have extra special news to share, secret sales, new collections etc. You can sign up here:

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And if you do, there will be a very special Songbead offer popping into your mailbox shortly afterwards.....if that's not temptation for you then there will extra exciting news and another special offer in my first newsletter! I'd love to keep you in the loop with what's going on with Songbead. Hope you'll want to join me! 

3 comments:

Cindy said...

What a beautiful necklace!! Just love the colors, pendant and design.
It's a great idea to start collecting names for a newsletter list - smart business move! I enrolled - Mailchimp is great to work with!

Claire Lockwood said...

Sweet story! Love Dickinson - and the necklace!

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

What a beautiful memory. I've watched two of the movies (I think it was two) and loved them but I'm sure they don't compare to the written (or spoken) words. The necklace is beautiful and I hope you keep it for yourself as a remembrance of treasured stories.

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