amulet jewelry?

"Sapphire is truth, and I am never without it. Ruby is passion, and I need it not. Emerald is hope, and I need it...amethyst, or as the little stone man I know called it Hammersmith, is devotion - I have it - and Topaz is jealousy, and is right nasty. Sapphires I make my totem of! Prase is a wicked little jewel, have none of him. I gave one to Margaret, and it winked and blinked and looked so evil she put it away." ~ Edward Burne-Jones

The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination by Fiona MacCarthy

What is amulet jewelry?

To me, it is the idea that adornment is more than just pretty jewelry to wear, but something that has meaning. Holds power.

At least in the way that it keeps close what you hold dear, what gives you strength, tells the story of what you are passionate about.

history & inspiration

Some of the of exhibitions, jewelry and objects that have lit the path forward on this journey.


Years ago my mom gifted her charm bracelet to me.

Looking at all the details and moving parts sparked a lifelong pursuit of jewelry-making with deep meaning & sentiment.

My father put a tiny "Love Note" to my mom inside the little silver mailbox but was lost over the years.

Everything is ephemeral.

Photographed with Dr. Doolittle, another inspiration. Still wishing I could talk to the animals, and always try to help shine a light on those that help not harm.


As a child, one of my first loves was a tiny ibex crafted of warm brass or gold metal purchased from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts gift shop.

The original was sadly lost over the years, but he was similar to this little beauty from @ 5th century B.C.

Achaemenid Gold Recumbent Ibex

pompeii exhibition

The Pompeii Exhibition was a wonder for me as a ten year old. Overwhelming in its suffering and tragedy but also in its preserved beauty and history.

magic. adornment. mystery. frozen in time.

I recently purchased the exhibition catalogs on ebay, it was a striking trip down memory lane. Still inspiring.

amulets & talisman

A few examples of Egyptian Adornment ~ a passion also sparked by those early museum visits and studied with all the library books I could find.

Beaded collar with amulets ~ EgyptianMiddle Kingdom, Dynasty 11–132061–1640 B.C. MFA Boston

From Wikipedia: "An amulet, also known as a good luck charm, is an object believed to confer protection upon its possessor. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin word amuletum, which Pliny's Natural History describes as "an object that protects a person from trouble"

ring set with a mouse design amulet

ca. 1479–1425 B.C. Egypt

The Metropolitan Museum of Art



Like many I was bullied in Jr. High for being different. As a shy teenager I wore all manner of oddities in my ears and around my neck; safety pins, doll parts, plastic animals, keys, etc. A favorite was this silver lion-headed armband that I still have, now beautifully tarnished with age.


My teased mane in High School had some roaring at me in the halls, but soon found my sanctuary by hiding in the Art Department. The teachers lightheartedly teased me but also encouraged making my own jewelry to of these wonderful art teachers was Nunzio Luca.


Nunzio kindly gifted me a winged lion pin made by a relative of his.

The symbol of the city of Venice, its patina has changed over the years and spurred a lifelong love of aged metals and all things Venice. (And more importantly, an appreciation for kindness- what one person can spark in you.)


The winged lion holds court in our dining room here at Frog Hollow. A talisman and reminder to follow your dreams, to be enchanted, and constantly inspired.

To live your "one wild and precious life" as Mary Oliver so beautifully said in her poem "The Summer Day"

(Still hoping to get to Venice someday.)

symbolism & beasties

While studying at the SMFA Boston we were sent to the Boston Public Library to research the History of Jewelry.

In the pages of one book this little guy jumped out at me, I took a photocopy and made a replica as a class project.

"Symbolism was a late 19th-century art movement of French, Russian, and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts seeking to represent absolute truths symbolically through language and metaphorical images, mainly as a reaction against naturalism and realism."

Lucien Hirtz (1864 - 1928)

"Necklet in Chased Gold, with a large Topaz"

My interpretation in black fimo with quartz crystal. (Photographed with my vintage mossy green Fluevogs that I still have, though I no longer wear any animal leather or suede.)

I loved that this little jeweled creature reminded me of the gargoyles I had seen adorning churches and gothic architectural buildings. These animal/dragon/beasties are said to protect and ward off harmful spirits and sometimes double as downspouts.

I still sometimes work in the same clay for casting, but trying to get better at traditional wax molding.


Reliquaries have long fascinated me. Holding sacred objects, creating a deep reverence through ornate design and keeping them safe.

The Reliquary Shrine a 14th-century container for relics. Made from translucent enamel,gilt-silver and paint, c 1325–50.

The Cloisters

Reliquary of Mary Magdalene, 14th and 15th century
Made in Tuscany, Italy
Gilded copper, gilded silver, rock crystal.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Talisman of Charlemagne is a 9th-century Carolingian reliquary encolpion that may once have belonged to Charlemagne and is purported to contain a fragment of the True Cross.

Learn More


other inspiration

gothic architecture

John Ruskin, The Orders of Venetian Arches, 1853,

Vol. 2 of The Stones of Venice

the venetian gothic collection

medieval manuscripts

bestiaries, illuminated letters, book of hours

manuscript amulets

storytelling tapestries

The Lady & The Unicorn, The Cloisters, Morris & Co, Jane Morris

the tapestry collection

victorian costume/imagery

Mary Frances & Walter Crane

archetypes & icons

these three people have been the biggest influences on what I make

edward burne-jones

a w n pugin

isabella stewart gardner


I am also incredibly inspired by music, it affects me so deeply and sets the mood in my workspace.

Learn more about what is playing in the studio.

thank you for reading

questions or comments welcomed

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