Hand Stitched Deerhide Ritual Vessel with Hand Dyed Silk + Handmade Desert Earth Pigments + Fossil Ivory Closures, Ancient and Handmade Elements, Fossils + Reversible Shoulder Bag

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Hand Stitched Deerhide Ritual Vessel with Hand Dyed Silk + Handmade Desert Earth Pigments + Fossil Ivory Closures, Ancient and Handmade Elements, Fossils + Reversible Shoulder Bag

465.00

A unique and unconventional ritual vessel for sacred items, with a distinctly different profile depending on the side on which it is worn.  All handmade from deerhide, hand dyed silk, and desert earth pigments, fully lined with a soft linen-cotton knit.

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:: Dreamer's Vessel ::

:: This vessel contains fossil walrus ivory, and can only be sold to customers in the US ::

Every once in a while I am called to create something entirely new.  It is an invitation to enter the Dreamtime and journey across the borderlands where, in a slow process of unfoldment, a new work reveals itself to me.  When this happens I cannot work from a plan.  I may have only the vaguest sense of where I am going or what I am bringing through.  It is like the delicate unraveling of a faint signal, one that only reveals the process a step or two at a time.  I have to proceed on trust, not knowing if what I am making will fully manifest.  When it does, the result is always a revelation. 

Over the past week, this is the path by which this vessel took shape.  I use the word vessel because bag sounds coarse somehow.  Pouch, purse, and similar terms don't quite work either; we don't seem to have the right words for this.  But it functions as a pouch or even a purse, and was constructed very solidly so it could be used in that way if you wish.  Let it hold your most sacred talismans, items of special significance...a rattle, feathered objects, herbs.

As you can see from the photos, the vessel has two very different sides, each with its own distinct profile.  When worn on the right shoulder a large fragment of polished fossil walrus ivory serves as a closure.  The silhouette is understated with a few select talismans in view.  Turned and worn on the left shoulder, a second, smaller fossil ivory button is fastened, narrowing the profile.  On this side the designs are more dense, and the ornamentation is richer and more varied.

The body of the vessel was constructed from soft deerhide of light tobacco brown, pieced together with various stitches and various fibers.  An entire day was devoted to creating the designs on the leather using natural pigments I collected while on desert sojourns.  Three are subtle clays in whisper-soft hues of greenish greys and yellows, the white was derived from selenite crystal.  The pale aqua is chrysocolla, purchased in raw form from a rockhound friend.  All of these were carefully ground by hand in a mortar and blended with acrylic medium for durability.  The designs derive from archaeoiconic pictographs, laid down thousands of years ago in remote desert sites by an archaic people who have long since passed from memory.  Layer after layer of pigment was applied as the leather was repeatedly washed, abraded and distressed.

After making the designs, I lined the deerhide with a triangular fragment of soft linen-cotton knit.  This came from an altered article of clothing and has a raveled edge that put me in mind of the deckle edge of handmade paper.  The hand-dyed silk strap is full of the loveliest colors.  I have had this fabric for years and can only part with it for the most special pieces.  It, too, was stitched together by hand, and securely attached to the leather.  A wrapping of soft nettle yarn enhances the connection. 

The ornaments are a widely varied selection of amulets, charms and talismans.  Several were made by me; bronze and copper talismans with impressions of fossils and desert stone, and a translucent polymer disc embedded with juniper needles.  Many other handmade elements of ceramic and glass accompany these, along with fossil crinoid, ancient glass, Pre-Columbian shell, copper, jade, Mali clay, Czech glass, juniper seeds, and more.  All are variously attached with leather, linen, nettle, or waxed nylon. 

Out of the desert Dreaming, each stitch binds our world to the world of myth, grace and spirit...

SIZE:  With only the larger ivory closure fastened (as worn on the right side), the vessel measures approximately 12 1/2" tall by 10 1/2" wide, and it is 25" from the shoulder to the bottom point.  

CARE:   Handle gently; not designed for heavy, sharp or pointed objects as they may damage the deerhide.  Spot clean if necessary.  If you wish to hang it for display, keep it out of strong light--and definitely out of sunlight, as the leather will fade over time. 

PRESENTATION:  I will wrap the Dreamer's Vessel for you beautifully, and will include a handwritten note about its construction and components.

++ Shipping is included in the price. ++

HAVE A QUESTION? Click on the shop policies link below for more information.  Feel free to contact me if you don't see the answer there