Halloween will be upon us very soon so I wanted to try my hand at some pieces inspired by the holiday. The first thing I thought of was All Souls Day: Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos and the artwork/tattoos that are based around this theme. The second thing that came to mind was a goth/vampire feel. So the challenge was to create pieces based on left over materials I had on hand (since my Etsy & Artfire studios are the places where I list jewelry made mostly from leftover materials from past projects).
I bought these pewter skull charms on closeout awhile back, so I knew they would be perfect. Paired with some red flower beads & hematite I created these Day of the Dead inspired earrings:
The red flower beads reminded me of the red roses I’ve seen in tattoos inspired by El Dia de los Muertos.
After those were constructed, I decided to go into a whole different direction. The words “fallen angel” kept popping in my head, as well as “Angel of Death”. So I worked with this idea, again with the pewter skull pendants, adding pewter wings. I just needed the perfect “body”. So for this time, I decided to wade through my “premium” (read: not leftovers) supplies as the hematite beads I had on hand just weren’t cutting it. Fabulous labradorite faceted rondelles caught my eye quickly. They are a nice ghosty gray tone, plus the metaphysical properties seemed to fit. Here’s what I came up with:
I used moonstone to create the neck of the “angel”.
This soon had my mind working in the direction of a pendant. I have a few of these black (dyed) quartz faceted teardrops that I knew would be perfect for the body. A little wire twisting and voila:
A 4mm hematite bead makes up the neck, & I used a 22 gauge sterling silver wire. I decided to hang it from a sterling silver chain so not to take away from the focus of the pendant itself.
What I really enjoy when making themed pieces – particularly when it comes to holidays- is to come up with a design that can encompass wear year round & not just for the certain event. I find if you are not careful, jewelry designed around a theme can appear costume-y (which of course is fine if you are designing costume jewelry!). I want to create something that could be enjoyed year round. I think with the right customer, these pieces can be enjoyed over & over again.
And you know what – I really don’t find these pieces morbid. Perhaps because for me death is a transcendence of the soul, where we are reborn…although the body may die and flesh rot away. To me, that is beautiful…Leilani Cleveland Deveau is a self-taught jewelry artist with over sixteen years of experience. 4 years ago she added the fiber arts (wool processing/dyeing/carding/spinning, knitting, crochet and felting) to her long list of creative interests. Leilani welcomes questions or comments from other crafters and handmade artists, as well as requests for custom, wholesale or consignment jewelry. Her home studio is located in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. You can contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org