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!