Living in the United States, everything always feels new. While that can be beautiful and refreshing, it leaves me longing for worn architecture and ancient civilizations.
It’s easy to forget that before all the stuff that precipitated Columbus Day (which was on Monday) there were communities thriving all over America.
Recently featured on Etsy’s Fresh Shops spotlight, Pagan Poetry was created by Diane, a former landscape architect who left her job to “live for what I was truly passionate about: jewelry and my other love, ethnology.”
“Pagan poetry is about shamanism, paganism and poetry. Behind this name, I am creating a different kind of jewelry. Amulets, cages and harness involve the whole body and become part of the outfit. The collections are inspired by North American tales and a strong connection to nature. Unusual objects with discrete details, drawings on leather, imitation of bones and ethnological references are trying to create a tiny imaginary civilization and its cultural artefacts. Pagan poetry is a work between art and clothing: each object is handmade by me and therefore is unique.”
Hand. Made. I know that these harnesses are expensive, but for something hand-molded and drawn, painstakingly, I can understand it.
Inugak – Knucklebones game harness necklace with drawings: $215
(I know, I know. I’m sorry.)
This is what I love: in a world where indie, ironic fashion is the thing, and where young white girls are wearing headdresses and feathered bands without a clue of what they actually represent, Diane is teaching them.
“My head is full of Native American and Inuit legends. I’m also inspired by 19th century literature: Levi-Strauss, Paul Emile Victor, Jean Malaurie are a few of my favorite writers. My winter 2010 collection is a tribute to Sanaaq from Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk, a Nunavik educator and author who devoted her life to preserving Inuit culture.”
“I like to instill some magic in my items. I want every design to have its own story and soul. That is why I insist on making everything with my hands, and for now, I still haven’t resorted to serigraphy. I draw every feather on leather, so each one is different and unique. I like to imagine the drawings on leather as a kind of tattoo, which is also a great inspiration for me.”
I’d already begun to fall for her while perusing her store…but then I saw Diane’s blog. (Click each image to be taken to the corresponding post.)
Some of the photos she posts are inspirational, ethnological, but many are from collaborations she’s done with photographers, novelists, and other creative minds. Some of it is (artistically) not safe for work, but so stunning that I wish I could post it here anyway. I was tempted.
To see the history of my country represented with such beauty is inspiring. It makes me long less for trips to Europe, and more for jaunts to historical sites close to home.