Friday, March 09, 2007

Collage rosaries

Heidi and I made a pilgimage to Hobby Lobby and did some collaging, only instead of putting stuff on boards, I made little fetishes, kind of like rosaries, for main characters in my current work in progress. These didn't photograph as well as I thought they would, but here are a couple of the ones that are easier to explain.

Any cords, ribbons and knots you see are significant - they symbolize spells, blood magic, or rituals. The only exception is that the primary ribbons that hold/contain Pere's and Demeter's rosaries symbolize their essential nature. The collage rosaries are meant to be held, like small fetishes, with lots of tiny objects you can meditate on.

Here's a detail from Pere.

As you can see, there's a lot going on. See the pearls? That's who her mother wants her to be - and Demeter pushes and pushes her toward that. As a direct result, she decides to go all Goth, which is why the pearls and the inky black roses are tightly bound together with a leather thong.

She undergoes three main spells or rituals - one her mother casts on her to save her from percieved heartbreak, one her lover casts to try to free her from that other spell, and one she casts herself to ... well, saying would be cheating, that would spoil things. But note that there's a coin on it, and you know you have to put coins on the eyes of the dead so that they can pay the ferryman on the river Styx.

There are also seashells and sex and bad choices and love, and if you were here with me, I would sit down and let you finger each bit and tell you what it means. Over wine, or maybe just some really good lemonade.

OK, so the Witch one (below) is built on a purse Heidi started to knit but then messed up and couldn't take apart or something. It's very soft mossy yarn. The red ribbon is blood magic; the leather thong in the middle of the church outline is a spell; the dragonfly charm in the center symbolizes the witch's character, and the red there is the pain she carries.

There are also leaves (both big ones and little plastic leaf-beads on moss-green ribbon) because she lives in the middle of the forest and uses a lot of natural elements in her witchcraft.

The Demeter one (below) is built on a ribbon that symbolizes Demeter's essential character: very formal, very exact and perfect, no room for mistakes. The large pearls symbolize what she wants to be (and has become), and the small pearls are what she hopes her daughter (Pere) will become. The light-green ribbon with the very simple flowers are how she wants the community to percieve Pere -as very innocent and virginal, etc etc - and the little bouquet of flowers symbolize Pere's power (goddess of spring).

The thong tie at the end of the pearls is a spell that's been cast on her by the man who's in love with her. Another spell was cast on her centuries ago, before she became pregnant with Pere - there's a huge snarled black knot connecting all Pere's stuff to Demeter's ribbon because of that spell. It misfired, and the man who cast it has been carrying a torch for her, not to mention a lot of guilt, around ever since.

The other thing about the Demeter rosary - which is probably hidden - is that the black thong that represents the old love spell is wrapped with seashells and a sea horse, symbolizing Poseidon. Demeter's been collecting these things ever since, without realizing that she's pulled toward him. Here's another shot of the Demeter rosary.

Hades (his rosary shown below) has this self-punishing thing going on (the chain; he's reluctant to be with Pere, even though he's in love with her, because he thinks he'll ruin her. So his deal is that he's trying to become worthy of her - all the self-punishing he's doing, she's at the root of it (the heart). In fact, part of his rosary is a fetish thong with all kinds of Pere-ish green things on it.
It's very simple; I'm not sure whether this means his love is pure and it's only this weird self-loathing thing he needs to deal with, or I need to get closer to him. The Magic 8 Ball in my head tells me that more will be revealed.

Hera is just the heart and soul of family love, but she also wants to stay hot for her husband (who's a lot like Bill Clinton). She's very simple but very pure of heart, and so her rosary needed to be simple and pure and lovely.

I'll see if I can get better shots and put them up.


Blogger mox said...

Such an artiste!

I like your process; very tactile in understanding what your characters are about. Now the question: how's the actual writing coming?

8:32 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

The rosaries live and in person are tres tres cool. Highly tactile. And she has this lovely bowl to put them in . . . .

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Eileen said...

These are too cool.

6:20 PM  
Blogger inkgrrl said...

Oh these are beautiful - fabulous idea, wonderful writing tool/prompt/collage thingy.

Really, really looking forward to getting a signed copy of this book as soon as it's out!

3:01 PM  

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