Baltic Amber "Amber Family " Fire Collection Necklace #3

$ 140.00

This baltic amber necklace was made with a centerpiece teardrop of baltic amber which was given to me by another healer friend to use in this collection.  The elongate deep russet amber beads near the center were a gift from my neighbor "Grandma Dotty" who gave them to me at a garage sale when I first moved into my home, a long strand which I have divided and added to many pieces for the great energy that this woman has.  Rarely have a met a soul as bright, funny, and full of grit.  Dotty and I like to cackle together and have spent many years laughing about our lives.  We have had a long, beautiful friendship and I feel really lucky to have shared in her life and been able to share mine.  I added some beautiful carnelian from my partner and father-in-law to draw on that good male lineage, and to give the piece a sense of love and generational balance.  Baltic amber takes on mysterious tones and subtle glowing auras as it ages, becoming more interesting and beautiful.

Knotted on green waxed linen this piece is finished with two lovely rare Parisian antique glass beads.  Knots in between each bead are filled with calm hope, strength, memories of love overcoming hardship, and the laughter of many an old friend.  I am certain this strand will end up with exactly who it is meant to be with as a strengthening and affirming piece that you are not alone.

The Baltic Amber Fire Collection was beaded during the period of burning and recovery of the Oregon and CA wildfires.  The carnelian was drawn from a basket of gifts from my partner, son, father and mother.  The beads were obtained from other stone artisans at a gem and mineral shows, from thrift stores of the last century, and from many nights of insomnia spent sourcing specific beads.

  The baltic and blue ambers came from various sources over the last 30 years including my great aunt Hannah, an evolutionary biologist who introduced me to the fossil rarity and wonder of amber as a little girl during one holiday family reunion.  Other sources for amber began to blossom after I began making incense and teaching about resins; many incense makers are synonymously fascinated with amber and have amber collections.  Looking at authentic amber, holding it, smelling it, staring at it, especially in wonder with other people is exactly how you learn to imprint on what is likely authentic amber. 

Some pieces of amber are a melted or chemically treated mixture of other resins, amber, or plastic amalgums ; I have attempted to do my best here in distinguishing between truly pure natural amber and amber which has been reconstituted.  The bulk of this collection was contributed through connections which slowly formed through the sharing of incense, amber perfume, heartwood, and my life stories of amber.  Through this sharing people began to offer amber jewelry for sale or trade, and to gift amber and their stories of why they love it and how they came to know this substance.  The bulk of my new tab and special insect-laden collection came from women artisans in Lithiuania and Poland who shape the beads they make and send me the powder and chips from the process to make utilize in my perfumes and incense.  I love this exchange and find it quite wonderful to create a suspension of amber from the materials that fly off the wheel which would normally be discarded.  I then adorn many bottles with tabs of the same amber to show what is in the bottle in the most literal way possible.

My favorite pieces of amber are the ones full of mystery, odd colors, or strangeness.  In some pieces you can find previously unnamed species of extinct insects or flora.  In other pieces you can see how the weather has shaped the amber, as it floated in the ocean, or you can observe the pieces of pyrite glimmering in the rind of the fossil and know it was formed pouring into metal-heavy earth.  Some pieces have haunting blue and white textures, and other show a stunning array of the most exquisite golden bubbles.  The luminosity, glow, sparkle and otherwordly nature of amber is pretty hard to beat.  I think one thing collectors love most is that you can collect for years and then get a necklace or bracelet with one tab that just eclipses you third eye over with the sheer unusual beauty of it. There are types of light clarity and color fluorescence that I have only seen in amber.  Blue rivaled only by metiorites, or the freshly calved glacier of the imagination breaking off into the realms of the unbelievable.  Most of the really remarkable amber in the world goes into the black markets and is purchased for hidden collections relished by the wealthy.  Wild to think of entire genomes and our only clear visual and genetic snapshots into the past being owned by those who never share them.

Clear piece are sold at the highest value for jewelry, unless a valuable inclusion is clearly seen.  Case in point; one amber carver I knew continuously sold me beads full of insect inclusions with no comment about them - I realized after a while that she just couldn't see the bugs and plants, and did not recognize seeds or stems.  I learned an enormous amount from these pieces she sent me about what type of textures or seasonal layering is presented in some types of baltic amber.  And as one good friend pointed out, it is often the absence of inclusion or flaw thoughout an entire piece, the sense of homogenous color continuity, that cues us off that we are looking at something heat treated, remelted, or fake.

  So it is not surprising that most of the life trapped and fossilized inside that 40 million year old amber is 

I still have some of the amber from the legendary amber treasure trove which my aunts found in my Great Aunt Hannah's oven after she died....over a hundred strands, many broken and many false, but some absolutely spectacular.  This "Oven Collection" was repaired by my mother and I and given to all the women on my maternal side...aunties, cousins, babies... it was wonderful.  At my wedding I did something similar and made 100 necklaces, many of amber, for all my lady guests.  This is the third set of 100 amber necklaces I have made and I have divided it into different collections. Some of the amber came from my father-in-law, and is from Columbia and south america, while I made good friendships with some of the miners of blue amber in Sumatra and Indonesia and was able to obtain some beautiful pieces.  Other strands were vintage and antique pieces which were broken or in need of repair.  It was a delight to take beads from thousands of fragmented pieces I collected and was gifted over my lifetime and to make them into a whole collection.

Amber has a history like no other "stone."  Full of 40 million years of perfectly preserved life, amber has long represented our connection and ties to our ancestors, grief and birth rituals, love of the forest both past and present, and the attraction we have to the golden medicines of the trees.  Incense and amber are primal, primary loves of humans, and we have long celebrated these resinous tree gifts as substances that change the way we process our emotions and grief.  Many people feel protected by amber, healed by it's soul soothing presence, and it is not uncommon for women to pass amber pieces down until they crumble in that sunlight of future generations of grandchildren.  Amber represents the cycle of alchemy as death and grief pass on into new births, restoration, and healing of old losses through new ways, new scents, and comforting old presence.  Amber, like poplar or frankincense is a comfort to the heart worn thin by grief.  On the borders between life and death it glows with it's own fortunes.  Filled with a sunlight from the past that we all share and hold in our souls as ancestral.

When I was creating the amber necklaces I divided them into collections as they were made, and themes began to emerge.  There is a black and gold "Bee" collection which is full of protective mourning pieces shot through with jet and ghostly tabs of amber full of plants and insects.  There is another collection which is all "Beach Glass and Amber"; shades of the ocean and sky and softly washed green and blues to give the feel of walking on the beach and finding these little amber beads which adorn the strands.  Between each amber bead is a knot and in this knot of linen or silk, scented and strengthened with beeswax, is a prayer for peace, calm, beauty, wholeness, strength, love, and healing.

Some necklaces have large tabs that were all cut from the same stones.  The traditional amber workers like to use every bit of the stone that they can and they cut these "Cleopatra style necklaces" as traditional homage to italian and lithuanian and many other heritages.  These necklaces all but disappeared off the US market in spring of 2022, and have become a rare commodity.  I tried to create a balance over the entire collection of 100 necklaces.  Some are delicate and small but feature very good tabs of amber with stellar natural texture, glow or inclusions.  Many necklaces contain rare blue amber beads which actually glow  a mystical blue-green in daylight, and an electric mint green in UV light.

All necklaces are made with semi-precious stones, vintage and antique french and czech glass, gold and silver plated clasps, copper artisan clasps, artisinally made waxed irish linen or silk, and my life-time collection of beads given to me by my family and community of exclusively women and tw0-spirit folks!  When I thought about this it felt so special....all the second hand beads from grandmothers and aunties....all the lovely sisters passing me special strands of stone medicine....it is all here.

I hope you enjoy these amber necklaces as I release collections over the first weeks of fall 2022.

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