Sunday, June 12, 2016

"I address you all...

for who you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, and magicians. You are the true dreamers.”
~Brian Selznick  The Invention of Hugo Caret 

In my search for American artisans, my friend Nancy connected me with Avalonia Jewelry...Lisa makes these necklaces from silverware and are accented with Italian sterling chains.  To flatten the silverware and then shape into these designs is not an easy task. 

She has connections to Avalon, and she is just starting in the business so what better way to follow through on my quest.  They look like fish tails, but I have decided to christen them as mermaid amulets.
Research reveals that mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures including the Near East, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.  There are mermen, but somehow they do not have the same appeal...
The Fisherman and the Syren, by Frederic Leighton, c. 1856–1858

There is a fun Dutch story involving a mermaid.  Hundreds of years ago, sailors and residents in coastal towns around the world told of encounters with sea-maidens. One story, dating back to the 1600s, claimed that a mermaid had entered Holland through a dike and was injured in the process. She was taken to a nearby lake and was soon nursed back to health. She eventually became a productive citizen, learned to speak Dutch, performed household chores and converted to Catholicism.  Not sure if she grew legs!

Anyway, if you would like a "mermaid amulet"...

we have an initial selection, and I think one would look stunning on that tan you are working on!

"I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black."
T.S. Eliot
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

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