Thursday, June 20, 2013

Symbolism in Jewelry : Cairns

by Staci L. Smith







We took a family trip to north to the mountains of PA this past weekend.  Now, if you follow me at all, you know I love the sea side, but, I could

 love it in green hills with rolling creeks too. It would be perfect to have a home in both places.  Perhaps someday.............. 

 

If you want to, you can read about the trip here on my personal blog.  It was fantastic.


Anyhow, while we were there, we collected rocks.  Being right by Pine Creek was pretty awesome, and not only were there billions of perfect river stones, but fossils too.  Tons and tons of small marine fossils in the shale, sandstone and limestone rocks. 

You should know that my love of beads and jewelry started as a love for rocks.

 
Here is a peek at the hoard I brought home.




I plan to bezel the fossil rocks that are small enough, like the one above.  However, the rivers stones were going to be drilled, so that I could use them in jewelry and even sell some sets too.


Where does the symbolism come in?  Read on..................


As soon as we started rock collecting in the mountains, my mom suggested we build some cairns'.  I have always loved the look of cairns- or stacked rocks.  You can read more about them here.  They are often used as trail markers or memorials. 


Here is where the symbols come in.  As you know, I use a lot of spirals in my jewelry, because I just love spirals!  And spirals often symbolize a journey.  I instantly knew that I would make Journey Cairns or journey markers for necklaces using stacked rocks and spirals.


So I got to drilling, ripped out my leather, and make a couple of these.  They are reminiscent of my sea glass stacks that I have made in the past.  The difference is, these have meaning to them. 
 

 
What a nice souvenir- and I even added a little fossil stone at the bottom!  I think there will be more to come!
 
 I may do some with sea glass and river stones, for those who love the water like me, from its origins in the mountains to its journeys end at the sea.  Or even add some turquoise, since it has often been known as a stone of protection....just to add some more meaning to each piece.  Do you use symbols in your jewelry? 





 

14 comments:

Erika said...

So... how do you like drilling through rocks? I think it is a big drag, but am glad to have the tools to do so.

Love your journey cairn necklace! I like the colors of the stones you chose and your metal swirls.

stacilouise said...

It depends on the rock Erika! LOL! These drilled pretty nicely. Quartz is murder on my drill bits- and that is usually what I find at the beach, so these were refreshingly easier. They drilled like a more dense slate- if you have ever drilled that. Glass takes much longer then these.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Nice post and love the symbolism of the Cairns and in jewelry.

Kelli said...

Love the natural stones. I'll definitely be looking forward to those drilled sets!!!!!!

freshbakeddesigns said...

Wonderful post, Staci. Love how you've put some really meaning into your necklaces. I'd still be lost in the canyons of New Mexico without the cairns laid out for us.

Stacie said...

Staci...what is your technique for drilling the stones? Love, love love what you did here...awesomesauce!

stacilouise said...

I have a tab at the top of blog for drilling sea glass, its the same for the stones. There is even a short video. www.stacilouiseoriginals.com

Karen McGovern said...

Just love these cairns, Staci. You always assemble such wonderful pieces. Thanks for sharing!!

Shel said...

Gorgeous (as always!)! And the meanings/symbolism behind it makes it so much more special! I do really enjoy jewelry w/meanings and stories attached (like yours) but the jewelry I sell publicly (etsy, etc.) doesn't have near the meaning/symbolism my custom jewelry has that I do for private clients. Also, the tutorial you mentioned in the above comments is fantastic - your daughter did a great job!!

mairedodd said...

staci, your cairn inspired pieces are really wonderful. many will find inspiration and power from them. i got a drill press for christmas - cannot wait to be able to use it. well done!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Staci, What a great way to remember your trip! I have a huge collection of stones (and glass) from various places, since I love to collect too! I even bought a drill press .... oh, it has to be a couple of years ago, now...... It sits waiting to one day be able to learn a little more about using those collections.

lindalandig said...

I love the journey necklace and its symbolism. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!

madalina said...

yyy can you please tell me what kind of drill and drill bits you used to make holes through the rocks? what about sea glass?

Anonymous said...

Love you clever and differentsnd meaningful pieces. Feel i need to get a Cairns piece as that was my maiden name. Thx for sharing.

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