A Coven of Witch Balls

A coven of witch balls- a recent custom order based on my miniature witch balls.
A coven of witch balls- a recent custom order based on my miniature witch balls.

I just completed this set of miniature witch balls for a special customer.  Sometimes my shop supporters will have these wonderful requests, ideas that really let me revel in my materials and designs.  This set of 8 witch balls in different colours, all with hand-forged hooks and adjustable chains, was one such request.  They look so happy together, don’t they?

I was inspired to make my version of the traditional witch ball after seeing a one such wonder in the “moorland cottage” room of the Castle Museum in York. The museum has myriad recreations of domesticity throughout the ages. I was particularly moved by the 18th century cottage, full of rough-hewn furniture. Every object had at least one use, if not three or four. But there in the window– something mysterious and glamorous, even! A glass ball, decoupaged with roses. I, like many unseelies before me, was certainly mesmerized by it. This is my take on the witch ball– made with love and mindfulness, based on old Yorkshire custom where glass orbs were blessed by a wise woman and placed in a window or mantle for protection against malevolence.

You can see more of my miniature witch balls in my Etsy shop.

Illuminated Ear Chains

Hours of Jean de Boucicaut from wiki commons
Hours of Jean de Boucicaut from wiki commons

The intricacies of illuminated manuscript borders have long been an influence on the work I make– before I made jewellery I was a painter, and my eye was trained looking at the wonderful examples of these magical texts at the Getty museum in California. There was something incongruous about these very old texts in this modern, less-than-intimate museum. Maybe that added to their power. Now I live in a medieval city, a place that often looks like something from these texts. I recognise the pastoral space, the tiny rooms, the changing seasons.

Below are ear chains designed for a special client– they hang from 5 piercings in the ears, like garlands. They were inspired by the floral borders of books of hours like the one pictured above.

Ear Chains, a custom order inspired by illuminated manuscripts.
Ear Chains, a custom order inspired by illuminated manuscripts.

 

Another view of the illuminated manuscript ear chains
Another view of the illuminated manuscript ear chains