Ravens have captured the imagination of people for millennia. The reasons why are multi-faceted and I think trying to pinpoint them robs us and the ravens of the mysterious bonds between us.
The sounds of a raven’s call or the fluttering of his wings as he takes off into flight undeniably touch something deep within us. Perhaps we long to be like the raven or maybe we recognize something of ourselves in his gaze. They fly through our stories, our poems, their gazes peer into the window of our dreams. For some, this intimacy with the raven is a source of dread, for others it is a comfort.
Regardless of how we feel about ravens, they are permanently etched into our landscape, both real and imagined. And autumn seems to be the raven’s celebration. Art Jewelry Elements featured the raven as October’s inspiration, noting some of the myriad ways the raven has found a home in cultures and stories. They included a delightful creation tale in which the Raven brings the sun and moon to the world to give all the inhabitants light. Although I enjoy the way ravens have been incorporated into our tales, I mostly enjoy watching ravens in forests. There’s something about watching them perch on skeleton branches and then fly away, circling the bare trees of late autumn…. it thrills my soul. I had made a wreath a few years ago that attempts to capture everything I love about ravens in the woods.
I wanted to capture some of that feeling in my jewelry for the challenge. Surprisingly, although I’ve used ravens in other artistic undertakings, I don’t have any raven-themed jewelry. When I saw the raven beads from Humblebeads, I knew they would be perfect. Here’s an action shot of bead selection in progress:
I tried a couple different ideas, with my first attempts coming off more steampunk than woodsy. I really wanted to create a “raven in the woods” feel to my necklace.
In the end I used black oxidized wire to create a wire wrapped wreath, reminiscent of the knotted twigs and branches found in the forest. I added wire-wrapped links of black and orange czech beads to bring the colors of the pendant up through the rest of the design. And the czech glass reflects and captures lights so perfectly – just like the setting sun winking through the trees. I still needed something in between the glass links to pull it together and after a few trips tothe bead stash, I found these tiny lucite flowers in black and orange that worked perfectly. I used wire to wrap the flowers and some oxidized leaves to large jump rings and curled the ends of the wire up to form little tendrils. They remind me of treasures you’d find on the forest floor – the last hardy wildflowers, fallen leaves, and bare vines.
I finished the earrings today. The elements strongly echo the necklace elements.
I created more flower and leaf charms, which hang over the orange glass beads. Hand patinated silver feathers dangle underneath.
I hope you enjoyed another closer look at ravens and the jewelry I created to celebrate their beauty in autumn. To close, I offer you a brief meditation on ravens: Why is a raven like a writing desk? Because Poe wrote on both!
Feel like more raven inspiration? Visit the other contributors to Art Jewelry Elements:
Blessings to you,