“Our tendrils of darkness and shadowy stains are beautiful against the light.”
My latest collection, Shadow Lands launched beneath a full, wintery, wolf moon, with the power of a lunar eclipse in the fire sign of Leo, the perfect Moon for releasing a collection all about learning to love imperfection.
This collection is a mixture of scarred silver and natural Dendritic Agate, and it's one of my favourites yet. Ever since I first saw a Dendritic Agate I was hooked. Each stone was like a little painting of a wintery wilderness, with snow covered trees and dark ferns under ice. I found myself captivated by the beauty of these quartz crystals, perfectly polished and smooth to touch, their milky whites perforated by tendrils of iron and magnesum, like little rorschach tests. As I looked at them my mind wandered the rolling hills with their misty clouds and icy rivers. How lost I became in their delicate detail.
As I marvelled at these natural wonders, so perfect in their imperfection, I thought about how different they would be if they didn’t have their dark inclusions, these ‘flaws’. Isn't it strange how easy it is for us to see the beauty in the creations of the earth? We happily accept them just as they are and wonder in their beauty. But we are creations of the earth, we are born of carbon too, and we are also flawed. So why can't we accept ourselves just as we are?
When I was a teenager I hated my nose. I broke it when I was very small and it always stood out to me in photographs. It is crooked and bumpy and too wide at the bridge. Whenever I looked in the mirror there it was, in the centre of my face, disturbing the way I wanted to look. Every picture I took was ruined by the angle of my nose. I focused on it and hated it. When I was a little older, I decided I was going to get a nose job and I told my friend Pip that's what I wanted to do. He told me not to. He said 'But Clare, that's your nose. That's what makes you you. If you change it you won't look like you any more, you'll look boring.'
I thought about what he said and realised he was right. Why would I want to change who I am? That's me. Nothing is perfect, and perfect is boring. I'd rather be weird looking than boring! So since that day, I never thought of getting a nose job again. I accepted my nose for what it was, and sure, sometimes I see a photo and think 'yikes! no one else is seeing that unflattering angle!', but mostly I know that others aren't so critical of us as we are of ourselves. After years of people saying they never would have realised my nose was deformed if I hadn't pointed it out (and made them feel the broken bone!), I realised I was the only one hating it, and how hurtful is that? To be the only one who dislikes something about yourself.
So, I created the Shadow Lands collections to mark and celebrate the beauty in the flaws, the scars and the darkness we carry. Each piece is unique in the marks that make it, just like you, like me, like us. If you worry too much, you dislike the way your stomach bulges, you wish your lips were fuller, that you made friends easier, that your smile wasn't crooked... Go easy on yourself, my love. Without these 'odd' parts we would be less interesting, less ourselves, and why would we ever want that? Just like the tendrils in a Dendritic Agate, or the hammer marks on a ring, those imperfections, those scars, are what, next to the smooth the light and the polished, are what makes them so divine.
Often we turn from our shadow selves, switch on lights so as not be to in the dark, but this Leo full moon, I ask you to let the darkness in. Just like the moon, you are sometimes illuminated, and sometimes in darkness, and there are parts of you that you never share, but all of this is you. Your darkness and your light, and all of you is beautiful.
So yes, we are not perfect, yes, we have 'flaws' but they are our flaws, that's the way we were made. Just like each Dendritic Agate. So every time you look at your piece of Shadow Lands jewellery, remember to love yourself in just that same way as you love that slice of Agate or strip of silver, because you are one and the same, born of the Earth and divine. 🖤