A new Logo for Feral Strumpet

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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.

While you are perusing Feralsturmpet.co.uk‘s new look, take a peek at the mighty shop update in the What’s New Collection!

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Join the Feral Email List and Birthday Club

maillistpromoBe part of the Feral Circle!  Sign up for the Feral Email Newsletter and receive sale previews, exclusive giveaways and super special savings on your Birthday if you include your month and day of your birthday when you sign up! (We promise never to give or sell your info to anyone or anything.)  Just go here to sign up! 

Boxing Day Treats at Feral Strumpet

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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! boxing_square_text3 boxing_square_text5 boxing_square_text4 boxing_square_text2 boxing_assortment

It’s a Dark & Decadent Halloween at Feral HQ

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From now until All Hallows Eve, save 20% off all dark, decadent pieces in the Gothic Adornments collection at Feralstrumpet.co.uk.

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?

 

Happy Birthday, Doctor Dee

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Magical objects said to belong to Dee, now housed together in the British Museum.

Magical objects said to belong to Dee, now housed together in the British Museum.

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.

The Scrying Mirror Ring, made to order in your size at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

The Scrying Mirror Ring, made to order in your size at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

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.

This is an exray of a painting of John Dee performing an experiment in front of Elizabeth I.  The exray reveals a circle of skulls at his feet.

This is an x-ray of a painting of John Dee performing an experiment in front of Elizabeth I. The x-ray reveals a circle of skulls at his feet.

Portrait of John Dee.

Portrait of John Dee.

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.

The Scrying Mirror Chandelier Earrings at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

The Scrying Mirror Chandelier Earrings at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

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.

The Scrying Mirror Neckalce at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

The Scrying Mirror Neckalce at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

 

 

What Would Vanessa Do?

Catherine wearing the Vine of Elements Pentagram Necklace

Catherine wearing the Vine of Elements Pentagram Necklace, channeling the Witch circa 1972.

I wanted to share with you some of the images from the latest photoshoot I did with Catherine modeling. Many of the designs are from the Gothic Adornments Collection, inspired by gothic heroines from fiction and, most recently teevee.

I've recently added many new designs to the Gothic Adornments collection of the shop.

I’ve recently added many new designs to the Gothic Adornments collection of the shop.

Catherine wearing the wrapped chrysoprase pendant necklace.

Catherine wearing the wrapped chrysoprase pendant necklace.

 

While shooting the collection we were talking about our common love for Penny Dreadful and particularly the character of Vanessa Ives who embodies the spiritual horror and conflict as well as ovaries-out demon possession like no other.  Her performance captures the lurid yet convincing dread of being “chosen” not by God, but by something else.

When I first heard they were making a show that combined all the horror classics in one universe, one show, I was skeptical, but I’ve fallen under the spell of the show and it is informing much of my work lately.

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It’s All Mine- Ten of My Feral Favourites

Me wearing my Slayer Queen Bib Necklace at my booth at the British Science Fiction Convention.

Me wearing my Slayer Queen Bib Necklace at my booth at the British Science Fiction Convention.

I wear jewellery for sentimental reasons mostly– I have stones I’ve found or been given, talismans of runes, my Thor’s hammer, my Freya/Seidkona.  Many of the things I love to wear were made by someone else whose skill I admire and whose creative energy I would like to connect with– I think I’m a lot like my customers in that way.

I have a long list of dream pieces I would like to make for myself.  Pieces so expensive to make, or so labour intensive, that they would not be practical to offer for sale.  I think this summer I will make one or two during a slow period.  I make very little for myself and maybe I should make more!

I do wear pieces I’ve made.  Sometimes for whatever reason an absolutely gorgeous piece doesn’t sell and I feel justified then in keeping it for myself.  Luckily my litmus test for selling something is– would I love to wear this? Am I dying to keep it? If the answer is yes, I offer it in my shop.

What am I wearing right now?  Well, I’ll tell you.

Boudicca Glasses Chain–This is probably the most practical thing I have ever made, next to my pennanular brooches.  I use this every day. I have two– one for my reading glasses and one for my regular glasses, which I need to take off when doing detail work.  When it is sunny (that’s rare in Yorkshire) I also have one for my sunglasses.

Kitchen Witch’s Pentagram Ring–I made an initial prototype in the raku glaze which I ended up keeping for myself.  Often I will wear a prototype to test out it’s mettle first before making more or offering it as a made to order piece.  Many of these become fast friends and others go to the scrap heap, ready to become something else.  This was a keeper!

rings5Myriad Lozenge Rings— I love making rings with lozenge shaped beads, the prongs at the side framing and binding the stone.  It has become a signature design and I have made countless rings for lovely people all over the world.

In one of my favourite books, A Mirror for Witches by Esther Forbes, Goodie Goochie, the androgynous preparer of the dead, wearings an iron ring on every finger to protect them from malignant spirits.  My rings are mostly copper and silver but I can relate. I started making my own rings because I could never find rings small enough for my fingers, at least ones I really liked.  My favourites are my amethyst, labradorite and web jasper rings.

Harpy Rosary Necklace by Feral Strumpet

Harpy Rosary Necklace by Feral Strumpet

Harpy Rosary Necklace–Here was a little orphan.  This beautiful necklace never found a home.  It is perfection– from its mid century wooden rosary with a slightly reddish tint to the wood, to the little harpy girl that moves up and down on her post like a magical merry-go-round creature.  Maybe I loved it so much that I secretly wished to keep it, because now it’s mine and I wear it all the time!

Floating Castle Rosary.

Floating Castle Rosary.

Floating Castle Rosary Necklace–I have made many of these but again, there was one I paired with a gorgeous 1960s jet and AB finish glass bead rosary.  I think it was waiting for me.  Here you can see one of my early photographs– when I was just starting out and hadn’t learned how to light and edit tiny pieces!

Infinity Chains– These beautifully graceful chains are hella labour-intensive.  I have made them in sterling, brass and copper. They look beautiful worn together, mixing the metals. Because it takes so long to make these I no longer offer them just as plain chains.  Instead I will combine them with crystals, stones and beads to create one of a kind, luxurious pieces.  The plain chains I saved for myself.  I like to wear the clasp in front, sometimes attaching a talisman or charm to one lobe of the S clasp.

Infinity chains in copper, bronze and silver plate

Infinity chains in copper, bronze and silver plate

brooch_sheila-9Sheila-na-Gig Brooch– Another mysterious sleeper. I wear my larger Sheila brooch with my hand knits.  My other simple brooches are my most popular design.  While these brooches are more delicate, I love their graceful curves and the fact that the curl on the ends of the circle keeps the pin on the clasp. I haven’t given up on this design!  I am making more prototypes to offer them again in the future.

The Slayer Queen Bib Necklace

The Slayer Queen Bib Necklace

Mega Slayer Bib Necklace– I feel like this post has turned into the Feral Island of Lost Toys!  I hope it offers some insight into my process.  This slayer bib necklace was another orphan.  I loved it insanely– but no one but me seemed to want to wear it!  My single stake necklaces continued to be best sellers but this OTT version was clearly waiting for me.

The Black Hearted Love Rosary Necklace

Black Hearted Love– This is my signature necklace, the one that started it all.  I was making these before I even started my Etsy shop, almost 4 years ago. I had a red cinnabar one paired with a red bakelite chaplet and a black one paired with a 19th century bog-wood rosary.  I wore them all the time and one day I was sitting in my local medieval drinking hall whinging that I couldn’t find a job, and my friend Emma said why don’t you sell the necklaces you make? The rest is history.

Bat rosary necklace

Bat rosary necklace

Baby Bat Necklace– Another of my best sellers– possibly my first best seller, the one that really took off.  I love layering mine with other longer pieces.  The little fellow is so small, and such good company.