This is a strong piece, inspired by the striking “tooth” shape of the Amazonite drop from the Neolithic era, some 8,000 years ago. It’s combined with ancient Dogon granite beads and my own granulated silver beads and charms, all on a handwoven silver chain.
During the Neolithic revolution at the dawn of agriculture, stone in all shades of green became a prized commodity. Beads of Amazonite and Serpentine start to appear as talismanic representations of the new growth and fertility that our ancient ancestors were learning to harness, replacing the older beads of bone, horn and shell just as the green plant foods replaced the animal-based diet of the hunter gatherers.
This shape is especially rare, and although we can’t know for sure what it represented to the artisan who created it, to me it speaks of the strength of a tooth or claw, but with the more earthy, less animalic plant intelligence that green stones represented during the Neolithic.
The granite beads are from the Dogon people of Mali, who are traders and also famous for their own magnificent art, including many kinds of beads. Granite beads like these were symbols of rank, particularly reserved for blacksmiths, whose skills with fire and metal show their magical powers of transformation.
I see this whole piece as a story of transformation, from hunter-gatherer to farmer, from raw iron to the tools of civilization, from the spirit world to the grounded physical plane.
I’ve also accented this necklace with my textured silver ring charms. These charms add movement and interest, and also make a soft, ringing sound when their wearer moves. The word “charm” comes from the Latin root word for a song or verse, and also denotes enchantment or magical action through sound. In many ancient cultures, little bells and noisemakers are said to both ward off evil and draw in positive energies and entities such as faeries, “charming” them with the same pleasing sounds their music is said to make.