The Mina Harker Necklace is one of my oldest designs. Originally, I did not make them to sell, because I made them before I even had a business selling my wares. I made them to wear with black slips and vintage black kimonos back in the day when I went to goth clubs in London. They combined my love of intricate statement jewellery and my extensive collection of broken, and abandoned rosaries.
I named this design after one of my favourite fictional characters, the typist and undead survivor, Mina Harker, that ex-school teacher who traversed the liminal world of the damned, the infected of soul who lived to tell the tale. There have been many Minas in other fictions but perhaps my favourite is The Letters of Mina Harker by Dodie Belamy, where Mina is re-visioned as a sexually active woman living in San Fransisco during the 1980s– she is also the author, speaking. If you have not read it, you should!
This design has had more manifestations and versions than any other– and probably each has been a little painful to let each one go. Most have found fascinating homes with artists, designers and creative visionaries. Here your can see a recent custom design I made for Joey of Scout LA.
Meet the new logo for Feral Strumpet, created by Alaura of Desnoir. After seeing the work she did for Black Moon Cosmetics, among other brands, I knew she was the woman for the job! After giving Alaura some ideas she was able to create this design which is medieval, gothic and also based on some of my best selling designs, the Nahusha hoops and Pennanular brooches as well as the Worry Ring. She created the perfect design on the first version– I love it and feel it encapsulates the mysterious, delicate and beautiful world of Feral Strumpet that I have created. Alaura was a joy to work with and I recommend her highly.
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We are making room for new designs in 2017, and are busy filling up the Boxing Day Sale Section at feralstrumpet.co.uk. Starting on Boxing day, you’ll find some old favourites there and many more new pieces– one offs and prototypes, all an additional 50% off with coupon code KANGAROO. This offer is good from Dec. 26th-Jan. 2nd, 2016. (This offer can’t be combined with other coupons or offers and can’t be used retrospectively.) Here’s a peek at just a few of the designs that will be on sale!
It’s my favourite time of year, when adults can ask each other, “what are you going to be?” We don’t have many trick-or-treaters where I live, but I stock up on candy anyway. As the veil thins, we honour our ancestors but also indulge in other delights– I always share some with them on my altar.
How are you celebrating this Samhain or Halloween?
Today is the birthday of Doctor Dee, court magician and mathemetician to Queen Elizabeth the I. My ambivalent fascination with Doctor Dee can be traced back to a single object– his scrying mirror in the cabinet of curiousities that is the Enlightenment Hall of the British Museum. During my monthly pilgrimages to the British Museum, I would always pay a visit to this most seductive of objects, desplayed beside a crystal ball and a pair of Enochian tablets– tools to decode the angelic language dee and Edward Kelley thought would be the key to communing with angels.
His angelic conversations were always conducted with Christian piety, perhaps sparing him from the witch trials rampant at the time. He had hoped the angels could help heal the very real spiritual rift left from the dissolution of the Catholic church and the new Church of England.
We are left to wonder just what kind of magician was Dr. Dee? The newly revealed circle of skulls at his feet in the painting above– and that they were once painted over– speaks to this ambivalence. He was perhaps foremost a librarian– his library was the largest in England. After six years abroad, advising monarchs in Central Europe, Dee returned to London to find his home and library vandalised and ransacked. He was an imperialist, one of the early architects of the colonisation of America. Perhaps its no wonder that this power object, his “devil’s mirror” was Aztec obsidian imported to England in the early 1500s. The coloniser and colonised are wedded in the deepest ways, but I digress.
Was the mirror even Dee’s? We only have Horace Walpole’s word on this. Fiction is often closer to the truth, and the stories we have inherited have already given shape to a shifting past. In the iconic portrait of Dr. Dee, he seems to be contained in a round wonder cabinet, his black cap resembling his “devil’s mirror”, a black nimbus framing his head. His pointed beard, like the finger of a planchette aimed into the dark, asks us to decipher some secret at his heart.
Terry Pratchett, that true bard of the English soul, got it right– here we have a wizard of the Unseen University– and I a Granny Weatherwax wanna be, staring into the dark glass.