health pendants

245 posts

Some things

1″ diameter, found objects

Some things never change.  Like the fact that I like to collect tiny things and keep them.  I might not call them collections anymore, but I call them “art supplies”.  These bits of tile in the center of the pendant are pieces of tile that had been tossed and smoothed by the ocean in Uruguay. I collected them when I was 4, and here they are, finding a second or third life. I was thinking about change and childhood because this weekend will be my daughter’s bat mitzvah, when she’ll become, according to Jewish tradition, an adult.  I’m so curious to see what will stay the same and what will change as she grows.

Drip Drop

1″x 1.5″, found objects

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful…until 6:00. Then all of a sudden the skies darkened and it rained on and off for the rest of the evening.  Wet grass, black clouds and an end to the happy blue skies meant I shivered in my spring coat. Now I’m watching the weather apps anxiously to see what the skies have in store for us in a week, when we’ll be celebrating my daughter. So this pendant, or “drop”, as my grandmother would have called it, aims to find the beauty in rain and puddles. Maybe a little rain on our celebration won’t be so bad.


.5″ x 2″, found objects

This week my colleagues have been talking a lot about mental health as they’ve been deciding what to focus their work on for the next 6 years.  And this week turned me into the parent of a teenager.  So between the two, protective factors and how to build them has been on my mind. How do we best foster resilience? How do we create caring relationships between young people and the adults around them?  How do we provide both skills and opportunities to youth as they grow? It’s a big topic, but this tiny pendant explores many types of protective factors: wrapping and blocking, learning to step forward, and connections.

Perfectly Imperfect

1.5″ x .5″, found objects

I spent some of today at an enormous antique flea market, looking for pieces for a project, and what everyone paid top dollar for were the old, battered, weathered objects that still hold together.  If it’s too perfect it’s probably new, and that crowd of pickers definitely didn’t want anything new.  As I made this pendant I tried to re-shape the bent sides of the metal piece on the bottom, and I tried to open the silver ring evenly, but neither one happened the way I’d hoped.  Fortunately, the two irregularities balance each other, and you can definitely tell the pieces I made it from aren’t new!


2″ x 1″, found objects

It’s not that sweets are always on my mind (only most of the time), but this week I’ve been doing a carefully restricted diet suggested by a nutritionist, and all the wonderful parts of donuts are off the table.  No sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no chocolate… there’s not much left except kale and bananas. And so I’m moving through the world seeing everything as donuts.  When I chose each piece for this pendant I first saw them as wooden beads, metal rings, or glass, but as soon as they were together and I stepped back, it was clear that this was a meditation on donuts.  The rings, the donut holes, the colors. There’s really no question.


2″ x 1/2″, glass

It’s almost June. And even if it weren’t, both pride and rainbows should be welcome any time of year.  It’s been a week of rainbows. I’ve seen hats, scarves, shoes, and even a mosaic rainbow.  It made me think about how happy I am that rainbows were claimed by a cause as important as LGBTQ+ rights, how glad I am that I can wear rainbows if I choose to, and how nice it would be if we had equivalent symbols of pride for other things.  Maybe green and blue for pride in academic achievement.  Maybe purple and blue for pride in an ethnic culture that’s not European White.  So many possibilities!  I know there are awareness symbols,  like the puzzle piece for autism awareness, but awareness feels very different than pride.  (It made me chuckle that when I edited the photo of this pendant, the first option it offered was “straighten”. )

Golden teat

1” diameter, found objects

yes, you read that right.  It’s spring, and we’re in the Berkshires, preparing for a behind-the-scenes tour of baby animals at a local farm! I expect to see them suckling, and to hear how much they’ve grown in the last weeks eating only their mothers’ milk.  So this pendant is an ode to that magical, milk-giving nipple that all of us mammals share.


1″ diameter, found objects and glass

We had two wet, cold, rainy days this week and their only saving grace was that the raindrops were beautiful. They set me to thinking about all the different kinds of rain that fall in the spring.  The driving rain, the misty wet air that somehow wets the windshield but doesn’t wet your hair, the big fat droplets, and the slow, steady rain that doesn’t keep you inside, but still manages to flood the basement after a few days.  This pendant only captures the big fat droplets and the driving rain, but suggests the rest of the types of wet that all lead up to planting summer veggies.

Step by Step

2″ x .5 “, glass beads

I learned during my anthropology training that ladders are one of a very few images (along with snakes, actually) that exist in every culture, regardless of whether they’re used regularly in the region. I like them as a metaphor.  One step at a time, connecting, bridging, leading, climbing.  And I like the idea of looking for them where they weren’t meant to be, the way people see faces in rocks and bark and clouds.  In this pendant the beads glitter distractingly, and the path is uneven, but there’s a ladder to climb if you look for it.


1″ x 1″, found objects

Scale is a confusing thing. It hurts my brain to think too hard about whether I’m big compared to the littlest things (I’ve been reading a lot about microbes lately) or tiny compared to the biggest things (the universe, the planet…) and then it’s even more complicated to think about how we each want to be given personal space and creative flexibility, but we also want to be surrounded and held by others.  What’s enough space?What’s too much?  This pendant is a meditation on space, the personal kind and the planetary kind.


.5″x 1″, found objects

Last week’s pendant reminds me of a spider, and this week’s is more like a lightning bug, bringing just a flash of momentary light to the situation…or the season. Thankfully daylight savings is right around the corner and days are getting longer.


1″ diameter, found objects

I like the word composition, partly because it spans writing, music, visual art, dance and more.  While there’s nothing inherently complicated about taking pieces of your chosen art and deciding how to put them together, I know I couldn’t do it in any medium that I don’t know deeply. I can’t string together notes. I couldn’t begin to choreograph a dance.  But with my glass and beads and baubles I know how to arrange, re-arrange, consider balance and form, think about color, and adjust until I have a tiny composition that looks, somehow… right.

Hills and Valleys

2″ x .5″, dichroic glass and slate

This week has been amazingly manageable. It turns out that when the kids travel, and I only have myself to feed, bathe, schedule and rest, it seems like there are at least three extra hours in the day. Of course, those hours have been for work, but even work feels more restful when I’m not checking my watch for pick-up times and thinking about what to make for dinner.  And yet, the days alone still had their challenges.  The hills and valleys and the twists and turns weren’t as extreme as they usually are, but there were still ups and downs.  The slate in this pendant shows the ups and downs at every scale.  Rub it with your fingers and you’ll feel the bumps.  Look very closely and you’ll see tiny dips and rises in every millimeter.

Guiding Star

2″ x .5″, found objects

Someone who stopped at my table during a craft fair said that she loved my use of mixed metals, and I glanced over my jewelry to see that I had, in fact, mixed many different metals.  In this pendant the mix was practical. I prefer the length of my silver chains, and I didn’t want to have to put the gold pendant on a gold chain.  So the silver star added some silver bling, and the bead posts below it help to pull  attention down to the careful beadwork below.  And thanks to that guiding star, a simple art deco design emerged.


1″ diameter, glass

I’ve always liked to look inside things, to figure out how they work and how they grew.  I got to use an electron microscope during a program at the museum of science as kid, and it was so wonderful to see the building-blocks of stuff, not looking like perfect circles, smooth lines and curves the way they tend to in illustrations, but with torn edges and bumps and bruises.  This little pendant has its own structure, and if you look closely you’ll see the rough corners and irregular cleaving of the glass rods.


1″x 2″, glass and found objects

When I look at other people’s art I see a clear style.  There’s a continuity to their pieces, and they could be picked out of a crowd.  I wonder how long it’ll take for me to have a body of work big enough to start to see a pattern.  Or maybe my journey is more winding, with too many influences and too many materials to allow for any sort of consistency. Despite the inconsistency of my art I was honored this week as one of the year’s artists of the month for Somerville (September was my month!). they gave us all superhero capes, and I think mine might be just the boost I need to fly forward and see where my art journey takes me.


1″ x 1.5″, ceramic

I usually have a relatively clear map in my head of how my day will go, how my week will go, and then it gets blurrier from there.  But lately there have been so many changes and unknowns each day that I can’t even see the one-day map. This pendant, made from a child’s ceramic tea set, represents the unexpected twists and turns that my days have been taking, making my mental map labyrinthian.

Our time

1″ x .75″, found objects

I was by my grandmother’s side the night before she passed away and it’s hard, as you watch someone fade away, not to think about the time they had and the time two two of you had together. I wish there had been more time to hear stories before she wasn’t able to speak, and more time to laugh together before she lost her bearings, but 98 years is a long time. In the light, this watch face pulses with deep reds as it moves, and reminds me of all the time before she faded.


1″ x .5″, found objects

I sometimes accidentally design pendants that have sharp bits at the bottom because I love the look of curves tapering to a point.  But this time I thought ahead and pointed the old calligraphy pen nib up, so it won’t poke anyone. There it is, partly buried, a memory of all the stories it once wrote, darkened by ink and age.  And from its sides grow branches and fruits, new creations emerging from the writer’s pen.

Shield II

1″ x 2″, found objects

I love tools. and I love hardware.  As a kid I would spend hours and hours looking through the little bins at the hardware store down the street from my house, comparing sizes and imagining what it could become.  But sadly, I’m still not taken seriously when I walk into most hardware stores. As a woman I need to prove to the men who seem to haunt the isles that I do indeed have business there and that I don’t need to be condescended to.  This pendant will be a hardware-full shield against the sexism that’s still rampant in construction, art and manufacturing.  Beautiful and tough.

Drop of Sunshine

1′ x 1.5 “, found objects

This is the season when a  drop pf sunshine can change the course of a whole day. It’s the deciding factor between sitting snuggled up under a blanket or venturing out into the cold.  It’s the difference between wanting ice cream or hot chocolate.  And this particular drop of sunshine is made from one of the treasures in a whole box of sunshine that was gifted to me for the holidays. I was given a wonderful mishmash of old jewelry and watches by my mom and my friend’s mom to reimagine in the new year.  I’m looking forward to hours of fun!


1″ x 1.2″, found objects

Tonight is the 5th night of Hanukkah, and we haven’t been super consistent about lighting the candles, but all the things around me that glow remind me of flames. The stone in this pendant catches the light in a way that looks like it’s holding a flame inside. I love the way that its original oval setting frames it, but by adding black adhesive and another small metal finding, the red looks deeper and brighter than ever.


1″x 2.5″, found objects

For most people, holidays are about something religious, but for me, it’s really all about the food. Of course, I do love decorations, and I love being together with family and friends, and the excuse to pull out fancy clothes that only get worn for special occasions.  But mostly, it’s about the food.  Since we don’t celebrate Christmas but we do have other winter holidays, our holiday season gets stretched out and enjoyed even longer. This pendant too is stretched out to include elements that represent decorations, music and, central to it all, food.

Eye of the Storm

1″ x 1.5″, wire and stone

These days it feels like everything’s spinning, and I’m going in literal circles around the city, around the region and around my house. There are moments of calm, and I’m so grateful for them, but they feel like the eye of the storm, and I know that within an hour the spinning will start again.


1″ x 1.5″, glass and found objects

A friend is moving, and she’s decided to have a zero-waste move, throwing nothing out as she packs.  It’s created a tremendous amount of extra work for her, and taken so much time, but it’s a nice goal.  Last week she presented me with a tiny tin and a baggie of the last remnants of the move, the smallest bits of plastic and glass that no one else wanted.  So here a few of them have found a home. The central plastic ring, the tiny black cap, and both of the artificial gems are now finding a second life in this pendant.  (oh, and if you’re in the Boston area, come pick up some of these pendants at the Celebrate Newton holiday market this Sunday!)