Wednesday, June 30, 2010

wreathed up in circles, eternally without heads.


these days i've been obsessed with the idea of space. the psychic spacial distance between the city and one's self. between a house and one's self. between a room, between a love. how these spaces and proximity inform and design the inner landscapes of the self, ever curling inward, guarded in armor.

which brings me to ammonites.

these brilliant fossils are the evidence of an extinct sea life species that swam ancient seas & armored themselves in mother of pearl. their pearlescent exterior, coupled with their complex curling spiral shape make them incredibly beautiful. but it is their mythology that attracts me the most. it is written that the shores of whitby were swarmed with a plague of snakes that were cured by the will of st. hilda who turned all the snakes to stone or what are now known as ammonites. this is how they received their second name, 'snakestones'

i've already gotten my hands on a few of these jewel fossils and am working out designs. in the meantime i'm having a late night love affair with the writings of anthony doerr, who's newest book, memory wall, is due in just a few short weeks and whose cover is graced with rows of ammonites.

ps. thank you to all of you who have recommended books. i'm still trying to track down some of them in the library. please add to the list if you have not done so. or just take a look if you are in need of a good book, the list is quite lovely thus far.


Angeliska said...

Hooray for ammonites and late nights!
I never knew that about St. Hilda! I will have to add it to my repository of obscure hagiography immediately. The spiral shell is special symbol for me, and Hilda was my great-grandmother's name - maybe I'll have to make something for her will fossilized ammonites. I never knew they were called "snakestones". I love apocryphal nature stories!

lolo dahling said...

I love ammonites! When Karel and I first met he gave me a kickass ammonite necklace, he really didn't even know me that well yet and I just knew from that simple gift it was the right connection...there is a pic of it in one of my past blog posts...
Also I want to get 3 of them tattooed on my arm!!!

fanciful devices said...

I love Haekel! When i was starting out I tried to make necklace earring sets of his jellyfish. total disaster...
I love these fossils as jewelery elements. I have 1 fossil necklace... most of the time, though, you find these all polished up, yuck. I'm also obsessing on and off about trilobites -the little bettle-ish fossils. Those would be a-ma-zing as one of your castings!

myownlittleuniverse said...

this illustration looks like ernst haeckel,,,he's amazing...maybe you are a fan already?

bloodmilk. said...

thanks for the heads up! i was wondering where it was from. the rest of his work is lovely too!