The photo above belongs to One Tribe–not to me. It’s a piece of custom-crafted ebony and fluorite body jewelry. I think it’s a labret, but am not really sure. ETA: It’s a ring, duh: a “Macassar Ebony and raw Creedite & Fluorite ring (for the finger) that is worn on the middle finger and arcs across the entire hand.” See the comment below!
One thing I am vitally interested in is craftsmanship, old and new, running the gamut from folk art, to functional but beautiful items, to high-end furniture, jewelry, and wearables. I think that the execution and aesthetic of modern crafts rival the most beautiful items created in history. As a person of very limited talent, I am awed and humbled by true artists. I value and often think about the role of the artisan in society. Speaking of Mayan body jewelry, Blake Perlingieri says
For noble peoples, artisans, goldsmiths, and jewelers have traditionally played important roles in the proliferation and evolution of early art, culture, and industry–the trades. The relationship and symbolism of adornment, culture, and ritual are inextricably interwoven.
A Brief History of the Evolution of Modern Adornment, p. 82.
Thus, I am fascinated by our modern body jewelry craftsman. Despite the proliferation of cheap body jewelry retailers and websites, there are a few people dedicated to fine craftsmanship of premium body jewelry. Whether working in steel, stone, or wood, these folks’ pride and dedication comes out in their work.
Some of these people operate One Tribe. I mentioned them back in my post on herbs, but today I want to highlight their excellent blog, in which they talk about crafting and acquiring their wonderful jewelry. I believe this is written mostly by One Tribe’s founder, Jared. You know I’ve complained about crappy body jewelry “blogs” that are simply a disguised advertisement for “belly rings.” This is the farthest thing from that. The blog’s most recent post highlights a trip to a local mine to score Amazonite: One Tribe Goes Mining!
Fascinating reading. That’s Jared holding a piece of Amazonite. Again, the picture doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to them, and I’m probably going to catch hell for it–especially that particular picture (of Jared), but I think it’s great! It very clearly epitomizes the hands-on passion that’s captivating me so much. Can’t wait to see the jewelry from that trip.
The more I look at their website, the more impressed I am at their products and philosophy. Take a look around, and you will be amazed, for instance at the page on custom jewelry designs: One Tribe custom page. Absolutely jaw dropping!
There’s also a great stretching FAQ –which makes sense, since much of their jewelry is made for stretched lobes. (Although they say to put 1 teaspoon in 8 oz of water for a salt soak–that’s too much, imo!)
The blog is an excellent read, and I highly recommend a look-see for everyone. In case you missed the link in the title, here’s another one: TribeBlog, and I’m putting it in my sidebar. My piercings don’t accommodate most of their jewelry, i.e., beautiful large plugs, but I can dream! And so can you.