Ironwood, Beth Hemmila: green opal, carnelian, fine and sterling silver

Ironwood was inspired by the memories of a camping trip my two friends took in the Mexican Red Wolf reintroduction area in the White Mountains of Arizona. One night they both huddled in a tent, long after dark, and listened to the wolves howling, calling out, and answering each other. To honor her partner Jen's 40th birthday, my friend Beth asked me to design a wolf necklace that would capture the essence of this story.

The experience of these women in the woods reminded me of Ironwood, a mythical Norse forest, which was once inhabited by mighty wolves who were said to be snatchers of the moon. In Ironwood I tried to capture the mournful cry of a Moon-Hound calling out to her pack. She is adorned with the colors of Copper Country and the Northwoods of Michigan -- carnelian and green opal.

In the back of the necklace is a North Star, a symbol of Beth's enduring love for her partner and her ability to light the way in the deepest of forests.

It is no wonder that the wolf has become a powerful female image in the last 20 years, who wouldn't want to spend time journeying with moonlight and letting out a howl every once and a while! What a fabulous way to celebrate 40 years! Happy Birthday Jen!


  1. How wonderful to be asked to create something like this. I'm sure Ironwood will be a life long treasure. And . . . Happy Birthday, Jen!

  2. This is gorgeous! I love the story, symbolism and meaning behind the piece. Thanks for sharing!

  3. beautiful. What a great memmory.
    The descriptions you write are always so enjoyable to read. I love the colors.
    happy friday to you. :)

  4. I love this!
    love the colors, the green opal,the texture, the message.
    I love your posts about your jewelery, makes a beautiful piece even more beautiful.

  5. Glad you like the colors and the description of this necklace. Thanks for all your complements!


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