I have recently moved to Banff on the north east coast of Scotland. We live in a house that was once a free school, built in 1803, with our office and workshop upstairs and our living space downstairs with a large cottage garden out back. The coast here is wild and beautiful. Dolphins regularly migrate through this part of the North sea at this time, and the days are long– dusk coming around midnight.
I am excited to see how my work will develop here– given the space and freedom this new living situation provides, as well as the rich inspiration the sea brings– every hour the colour shifts and moods produce a kaleidoscope of colours in the interplay of sea, sky and sunlight.
I plan to continue unpacking my altar today– what are you doing on this longest day?
Have a peek at this week’s shop update. You’ll find new versions of old favourites as well as an exciting assortment of new designs.
New in– an exciting variety of ear hangers and ear weights for stretched ears as well as a new witch ball especially designed for the Summer Solstice or Litha!
Lately the knitters of Instagram have been inspiring me, and I’ve designed these new stitch marker necklaces for my fellow knitters! I’ve been knitting for over 20 years and have knitting everything from tiny doll house knitting on toothpicks to massive canopies using recycled plastic bags. I find knitters to be some of the most fascinating, generous and aesthetically exacting folk around. They are, you could say, my people.
I also wanted to update you with some exciting plans ahead for Feral Strumpet. We are relocating from York to the North Coast of Scotland, to a remote village by the sea. This will all happen early in early June and I will keep you posted. The shop will remain open during our relocation, but in a week or two any made to order designs will take a couple of weeks longer than usually to make. So if you had your eye on a custom colour design or any of my made to order pieces, now is the time to order them if you’d like it quickly!
The most recent shop update is full of primal energy and a certain beyond the pale feeling– you can see it all in the What’s New section at Feralstrumpet.co.uk Naturally shed antlers with bronze and copper halos, alchemist hoops in sterling silver and new, quite substantial Pirate Jenny hoops in sterling silver.
So many exciting changes are afoot for Feral Strumpet. Stay Tuned! In the meantime, thank you for being along for the ride– happy May Day/Beltaine/Beginning of Summer! To celebrate I’m offering free worldwide shipping until May 2nd, only at Feralstrumpet.co.uk.
The Nahusha Hoops are inspired by my ouroboros Anglo Saxon brooches. Designed in lightweight, work-hardened aluminium to be worn through tunnels or bare stretched piercings. The tumbled and hammered aluminium takes on a moon-glow. Perfect to wear if you don’t want to stretch your gauge further but still want a minimalist rustic statement earring; they look heavy but are actually light to wear. This abstracted hoop is inspired by the World Serpents known throughout world myth as a creator-destroyer and keeper of secrets.
I make these hoops in 2 gauge sizes: large 4g (4.50 mm) and medium 6g (3.25mm). All hoops measure approximately 2″ in diameter as well as 12g or 2mm in a cold-forged bronze. The bronze I use is a lovely rose-gold colour. Keep your eyes on the shop, as I will soon be rolling these out in pure sterling silver in a 12g.
You can open the hoops by gently pulling one end toward you and then sliding it back into place, like a jump ring.
The popularity of this open circle is found in many of my designs, including the pennanular brooch and worry ring as well as hidden away my logo! Known to the Gnostics as the Wise Serpent, the Ouroboros revealed the mysteries of the heavens, protecting the world-egg. This symbol can be traced back to an earlier Goddess, Nehushta, a parallel of the Hindu world-serpent Nahusha. The Norse called this the Nidhogg, the World Serpent eating away at the roots of the World Tree. A wingless dragon, she took on a darker significance in the Middle Ages when female snakes were thought to swallow the male in order to reproduce.
Here’s what one satisfied customer had to say about these hoops:
“Perfect weight to them. Love the hammered texture. Easy to wear and goes with a lot of shit. Thank you again. Will be ordering new earrings soon” – Kali
I’ve been busy filling the shop with lovely vintage pieces– they are going fast. Gorgeous tribal Kuchi pieces, sterling silver and gemstone rings from the 80s and some heady Baltic amber among other treats are all waiting to be snapped up. Check out the Vintage and Antique Collection at Feralstrumpet.co.uk to see it all.
I have always been a collector of vintage pieces, from back in my high school days in the 80s when you could still find plentiful vintage at thrift stores and charity shops. I was often drawn to pieces because of a detail, colour or texture– only to find after some research I had indeed “scored” and found something of value. As I became more knowledgeable I sold vintage pieces as a hobby and a way to supplement my salary as a University lecturer. I think is the time spent with vintage pieces that provided me with a crash course in jewellery design, and their construction an whimsy have remained a prime influence in my work. I still source vintage when I can, refurbishing it when necessary or using fragments to recreate new designs. I love pieces that carry a history, and a glimpse of the past– beyond the wonderful quality of vintage pieces I offer– each has a unique narrative that they are no doubt saving for their new owners alone!