on the bench- a.a.i.

Work on the disk continues…

Next, the interlocking inlay pieces for the Khepera and Sun obverse are cut and filed (and filed, and filed) until they fit tightly together. The Sun disk is a slice of narwhal horn, and the wheel-corona is made of a thin slice of ebony.




These pieces are then test-fit onto the foundation disk. Their outlines are marked, and a cavity is routed to allow the inlays to seat down firmly into the (itself inlaid) recess.




Once adjusted and fit, The narwhal horn pieces are fixed in place, and the floor of the “grub cave” is covered with a mix of red woods similar to what constitutes the inlaid red circle at the perimeter. The wheel and scarab are installed next, and the process of final refinement and cleanup begins.


The installation and rough carving of the heart panel on the reverse has just been done in this image.


The same side after more refinement and polishing. The silver signature cartouche is visible at the bottom.



on the bench – grub

Making the scarab larva from part of the narwhal horn slice:










Burnishing the inlay of gold leaf in eye socket.







shots from the bench- currently in progress: a.a.i.



Wall of hearts: a plethora of sketches for the reverse of the disk.  It’s taken a year + for the elements of this piece to become clear, and the selection of just the right image for the reverse concluded the initial design process. It’s not unusual for talismanic pieces for a particular individual to take months to formulate. Some come quickly, others take time, depending on the complexity of the forces to be housed and my ability to determine right relationship between the appropriate images and materials once they are discovered.


Version selected- this image will be transferred to the bloodwood panel, and the image will be carved into it once fixed to the ebony base.



The foundation is made: two pieces of ebony, with one layer of bloodwood between them are laminated together between steel pressing disks. When cut, a thin red line will show in the center of the outside perimeter face.


Parts and patterns for obverse and reverse of disk.




Khepera emerges from an ebony blank.


A recess is made in the center of the finished ebony/bloodwood foundation disk plate, and a single 2mm pearl is placed inside. The hole is then filled and sealed with ebony.

pearlinthehole_clsp The hidden pearl in the hole at the heart of the disk.


The hole in the center has been completely sealed and cured, and next the hand-cut and inlaid motto in bronze 220 is itself inlaid into the cavity carved in the disk.


Next, the bloodwood panel is inlaid and the entire piece is placed under the pressing disks for 24 hours.


Fetish Horse 4

Dies Saturnus

Sol 28* Aquarius

Luna wn in Taurus, 40%v


Fetish Horse 4 (Melanippis)

ebony, brass

5.1cm X 4.0cm x 1.2 cm   (2.0 in. x 1.3 in. x 0.5 in.)


Striding black stallion with one golden shoe.






Fetish Horse 3

Dies Saturnus

Sol 28* Aquarius

Luna wn in Taurus, 40%v


Fetish Horse 3 (Red Mare)

berchemia (pink ivory wood), sterling silver, gold leaf, glass, resin

4.15cm x  3.8cm x 1.2cm    (1.75 in. x 1.5 in. x 0.5 in.)






first venture into knifemaking

Nox Venus

Luna NEW in Aquarius

Cat Claw Knife

412 layer Damascus steel, pre-ban salvaged elephant ivory, brass, sterling silver

8.8cm x 3.2cm x 0.8cm (3.5 in x 1.25 in. x  0.32 in.)



Schreger pattern visible in ivory handle.


breakup charm

Nox Jovis

Sol 6* Capricorn

Luna FULL in Cancer


Breakup Charm

sterling silver, copper,  rose quartz, miniature ceramic feet

5.4cm x 4.0cm x 3.0cm (2.15 in. x 1.6 in. x 1.2 in.)


For moving on.

Charm of silver and rose quartz with turning quartz element mounted on small raku feet. The outer ring is stamped with the charge “turn and go”, and  is pierced with two clubs and two spades representing the Two of Wands (Dominion) and the Two of Swords (Peace) in the Tarot deck. They ward the stone at center.


The back of the quartz setting is pierced with two hearts representing the Two of Cups (Love), allowing the two hearts to flash with light through the stone as it is turned.



The feet are capped with copper diamonds, representing the Two of Disks (Change).  May they carry the bearer onward to a healed heart and a renewed self.





omg I didn’t melt that setting!!!




traveler’s charm

Dies Venus

Sol 2* Sagittarius, Luna in Leo wx 81*v



Traveler’s Charm

1962 British halfpenny, sterling silver, copper, 14kt gold, diamond

2.5cm x 0.25cm (1.0 in. x  0.09 in.)  Coin-sized, to fit easily into a pocket or wallet.


Obverse: three concentric circles with golden heart and watchful eyes, inscribed with three line charm made from anagrams of the 11 letter phrase “safe travels”:



Reverse: sailing ship with guiding star.


kitten tooth pendant

Kitten Tooth Reliquary Pendant

sterling silver, gold leaf, moonstone, resin, rice paper, kitten tooth

pendant: 3.2 cm x 2.0 cm x .35cm ( 1.25 in. x 0.75 in. x 0.125 in.)

moonstone element: 1.2 cm x 0.7 cm x 0.5cm (0.5 in. x 0.32 in. x 0.19 in.)


Reliquary pendant made to contain shed kitten tooth. Inscription of name and date on reverse (not shown).




on the bench


Sterling setting for kitten tooth and moonstone.


Gilding the interior  the tooth- it is so tiny, I had to lay in the gold leaf with a needle point, and burnish it with the back (loop) end of the same needle.


Fetish Horses

Dies Luna

Luna wn 62%v


White Mare

camel bone, turquoise inlay

3.6cm x 3.0cm x 1.0cm (1.42 in. x 1.18 in. x .37 in.)



Landscape Mare (Melanippe)

ziricote wood, brass inlay

5.4cm x 4.8cm x 1.3cm (2.12 in. x 1.87 in. x .5 in.)






Dies Mars

Luna wn 93%v


A pretty piece of ziricote prepped for the next piece.



harmonic door

Nox Mars

Luna wn 13%v


Harmonic Door

brass, copper, sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, harmonica parts, resin

8.7cm x 15cm (3.5 in. x 6.0 in.)



The way in.




The other side.


The broken reed has been replaced with a reed of 18k gold.






Nox Solis

Luna wn 95%v

It’s been quiet over here for a little while. My trusty little camera finally gave up the ghost a couple of months ago, and so there have been no pictures of what’s on the bench lately. It’s just as well as it’s been quiet in terms of developing pieces, too. There is some tectonic shifting going on inside me and it feels best to let it finish what it’s doing before launching into the next phase of works. I need to put some things down, listen, and make some choices.

Newly freed from some old burdens, it is yet to be seen what will grow into that space. It’s wonderful but…well…quiet.

More to come for sure. But for now, some space.




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a soak

As I put substances through various irreversible chemical changes in art (and Art) processes I wonder about the correlatives to those processes in ritual, most particularly initiation rituals. What are the actions and reactions that bring about transmutation, what are the necessary conditions? I do not mean a description of the specifics to one particular operation, but what are these actions in a more general, identifying sense?

What are they, and what is the good?

Practically, in the micro: what should one pay attention to, what not to worry about. One of the first things to figure out before anything can be done. In the macro: “what is thy will?” That decides pretty much everything else.

But back to the operation-

How may the “harmonious detachment” be mapped, those separate spaces of the materia’s own potential and mystery that are really not the (explicit) business of the operator? And on the other side of the mirror, the evolutionary needs/impulses of the operator that cause him to undertake the work, yet the materia cannot fathom these factors, nor is it necessary for it to do so. Yet both are united in the work, and each catalyzes the other albeit in different ways.

-the natural law of the realm they share unites them, as both must abide by it in whatever place they coexist enough to work one upon the other, the field in which the work takes place
-perhaps karma brings them together (though I admit that I am not sure that I know enough about “karma” to use that word.)
-other forces unite them – the animated and animating air, the living fire, the vessels, pure water, invoked beings of whatever sort, the physical space of the lab- all have one hand on the operator, one hand on the materia. There are a lot of officers at that wedding, it seems.

Can an increase in sensitivity to observing physical transmutations lead to better perception of more subtle ones? I think so. My modest experience in this so far has led me to believe so. Otherwise, why undertake any sort of regular practice? It’s why things must be done as much as studied.

What irreversible chemical changes have I observed in materia and/or operator as a result of dramatic ritual? What transmutations, even if they started invisibly?

I’m not ready to analyze this in terms of (my) life-particulars yet, I’m still soaking in this, still experiencing the question and I don’t want to hurry out of that lovely state. It feels like a good direction to be tending.


jupiter wheel pendant

Dies Luna

Luna wn 50%v


Jewelry-scale pendant created for the film project Maybe God Is Talking To You. Reverse of pendant features a turnable wheel.

sterling silver, tin, brass, copper, amethysts, diamond, resin

3.2 x 3.2 x .5 cm (1.25 x1.25 x .20 inches)