Here are three thematically linked pendants where I used laminated stones to get pattern, and combined them with various patterns produced by the natural world.
Arrived whiskers first
chewing this and that
among blown leaves
on a winter day
at a time of our need.
Someone we couldn’t find
had abandoned him.
We took him in.
small damp pink rubbery
tongue, accompanied by
light touch of whiskers
lick lick lick lick
We gave him names:
Walter Benjamin Bunny
Mr Boon, Doctor Rabbit,
and so on and more.
He knew our scent names
(which we don’t.)
Exchanging body heat,
held in my arms
where my heart beat,
until the warmth
got through the clothes
and fur. He’d nuzzle in,
relax, lick any skin.
His greatest LEAP
from the wardrobe,
four paces, six times his height
jack-in-a-box out of stillness
up onto the bed.
Loved Parrot Puffs
(fruit crackers for birds),
chocolate, raisins, dried fruit,
celery stalks, lettuce,
shoots from the avo tree.
Tolerated rabbit pellets.
Thumping, sometimes. Why?
Clicking claws on wooden boards.
A tiny cough or bark
his only word.
Half-size (Netherlands dwarf),
he nipped the cats to make them preen,
pissed in my eye as he thundered by
in a firework circle on the bed,
scratch-scratch-scratched for a scrape on the rug,
ate the books, the clothes, the bag,
the shoes, the belt, the basket, the frame
of the door, gnawed at electric wires
and was generally a rascally rabbit
who taught us tidiness and vigilance.
A hundred and twenty moons he saw loop by,
serene in the black or through the windy clouds.
Nine times the avo tree took off its leaves
and budded flowers, and the bees were loud.
Three thousand three hundred nights he loped
inside to sniff about
and when the sun came out,
he came in, curious, as though he hoped
for novelty. Was I or the rabbit
the repetitive creature of habit?
Presents himself long and flat
to have the muscles beside his spine
massaged. Settles in for this.
Old, he no longer jumps
up to his chair for the sun.
Instead, he lolls out flat
a grey rag in a sunspot
on the floor.
At night I often see him
staring at the moon
or so it seems.
Perhaps he just craves light.
empty of hate, grudgeless,
without schemes or wiles.
coat softer than granny’s
fox-fur powder puff
Good night my old friend, I hope you sleep well,
My affection for you rings clear as a bell.
So often I have held your warm body to me,
Good night little friend, sleep deep, dream free.
In the night by the rutted track
Crouching, a big hare
thinks he’s a grey stone, a stone…
Four or five great leaps
into darkness. Gone
back to the eternal
pasturing of hares
on earth, among grasses.
Snapped in the fields below Kirstenbosch. Click on the images to see the insects bigger. Some of them are quite interesting. All different, all taken in one session within 100m of each other. There were lots more. As JBS Haldane observed: “If there is a God, he must be inordinately fond of beetles.”
I love this one. The beautiful dark lapis lazuli, like the night sky flecked with some stars.
Here’s the back, life size:
I had some lapis lazuli and, since the Medicine Buddha, the Buddhist image of healing, is commonly imagined as lapis lazuli-coloured or even made of lapis lazuli, I thought I’d make an abstraction of his face for a pendant.
I started out making the hair out of obsidian but the material was too brittle and liable to chip.
So I found some jet (fossilised coal), and after a bit of fiddling about, was able to produce a form that satisfies me. The silver part was carved in wax and cast. I used epoxy mixed with jet dust for the seams.
Here’s the finished item, actual size:
A second pair of mother of pearl earrings with lapis inlay. Perhaps a theme is starting to develop.
Here they are life-size:
I got some old mother of pearl fruit-fork handles. The material is still in perfect preservation, after a hundred years or so. Here is the first finished piece made using the mother of pearl.