*a note to long time readers...some of these may seem redundant, but I need to put this all into perspective...please bear with me!*
Aside from my home organizing plans, I'm focusing on tying all the loose ends up in my business. I'll be offering a third line of jewelry in my etsy shop soon! A project that has been stuck in the works for far too long. I've completed all my prototypes via lost wax casting, now I just need to come up with the funds to put this line into production. I'm not going to tell you too much more than that. However, you may remember me sharing my soulful artistic collaboration with visionary artist, Steve Quenell a while back. Steve brought my vision to life in this amazing collage that embodies the spiritual driving force behind new line of jewelry. I would love to do another collaboration with Steve! He just gets it! Since ancient times, Shamans and Witches have worked with the spirits of nature for healing, survival, and knowledge. That's were I'm going with all of this.
My first collection, Supernatural Specimens, started off as a way for me to artfully catalog natural items found in Occult stores, Botanicas, and Nature. Items still used by modern witches and contempory shamans as remedies or cures in the same way magico-religious practitioners of indigenous cultures ones used them. The origin of Magico-Religious Power is universal...and timeless. It is the spiritual force called Mana, commonly interpreted as "the stuff of which magic is formed", as well as the substance of which souls are made. Mana is in people, animals, plants and objects. The entire universe is alive and interconnected...everything possesses a personality and individual spirit/soul/force. Shamans and Witches have a deep relationship with Nature and can identify the positive spiritual powers in plants and animals and create charms, amulets, and medicines that aid the owner in some way. (And in some instances of course, negative spiritual forces can also be used to cause harm.) This tradition is especially valuable in a time of crisis between humanity and nature. If we can learn to rediscover the way of the shaman, it may make a critical impact on how we live. Naturalist and Ecologists might study the relationships of living things to their environment differently. How we live individually and collectively can and will effect the future of the Earth and it's inhabitants. The future is in our hands...
Anyway...my Butterfly Specimens are by far the most popular. Catbird NYC is all sold out and just placed a second wholesale order with me! However, in my shop I'd like to focus on offering more of a variety of specimens. I'm also adding a museum specimen style tags to accompany each one...
In offering my second line of jewelry, a vintage/antique collection of folkloric hunting charms that I call Black Forest Relics, it was also my intention to point out that our society is suffering from the loss of connection to nature. Black Forest Relics are a kind of Memento Mori to remind people about our current deforestation crisis: the tragic loss of the world’s sacred forest sanctuaries and the plants and animals it protects. The word "relic" denotes a supernatural object (usually a bone or other such) venerated because of association with a saint or martyr. Black Forest Relics are infused with the magic of the forest, the mythologies of the animal and a sense of imminent mourning...each one sacred in it's own right. (BTW, I just added some new ones to my Etsy shop!)
Aside from the relics I sell in my Etsy shop I also have a contact list of dear and loyal clients that collect these and get first picks! This collection has been wildly popular which has been both a blessing and a curse! Not only has the marketplace been flooded by grotesque reproductions of folkloric and taxidermy jewelry, but they are being offered with no regard to the sanctity of the animal used in the creation of the jewelry. You might remember my epic post on this topic HERE. Also, I had originally intended to donate a portion of each sale to the World Wildlife Fund. Unfortunatly, I was contacted by them and they basically said "no thanks!" This was really disheartening but I'd still like to donate to a smaller grassroots non-profit organization...any suggestions? ! The following is the email sent to me by the WWF:
"Please note that to communicate that you are making a donation to us based on sales, we require a licensing agreement. This entails a minimum annual guaranteed donation of $25,000 and registration as a commercial coventurer in four states. At this time we are not interested in a licensing agreement due to conflicting efforts with another jewelry line which is exclusive. I certainly appreciate your desire to donate to WWF, but there are a million rules and regulations around this costing both time and money. We do not feel as though the financial benefit to us outweighs the legal and marketing work involved on either one of our ends."
Anyway, my next line of jewelry is an protected species project called Woodland Echos! It will feature many (7 so far) protected species and recycled metals, but that's all I'm going to say for now! I will mention a project that provided me with much inspiration though! Chicago artist, Jenny Kendler teamed up with another amazing Chicago artist, Molly Schafer, to create limited-edition art prints of critically endangered species. The project is called "The Endangered Species Print Project" you can view this series on the WEBSITE! I featured the environmental art of Jenny Kendler previously in my Cabinet of Curiosities...check that out HERE. And below is the "the romanticized, quasi-prehistorical" art of Molly Schafer!
So yeah, I've been thinking a lot about my Master Plan...big tings ah gwan!