Armor for a Modern Woman

The original inspiration for this necklace came from the ancient breastplate worn by the Jewish High Priest, whose four rows of three semi-precious stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel.  I associated the word “breastplate” with armor, so I have used the basic notion and converted it into “Armor For A Modern Woman.” 

The backing is quilted cloth representing the old quilted armor of the 12th through the 15th centuries.  The copper squares represent the advent of the more familiar metal armor; however, I have hijacked their masculine armor reference by placing upon each piece a symbols representing “female” or “power” or “strength” or “protection” drawn from many cultures.

Reading from the top left across the rows

Row 1

1. Chinese Symbol for strength  2. The symbol for female in science (Venus’ mirror)

               3. The Japanese Kanji for strength or power

Row 2

1. The Tabona, an ancient African symbol for strength and perseverance  2. Triple spiral,

       symbol for mother, crone, female power   3. snake, ancient symbol for female power

Row 3

1. Taurus, astrological symbol for The Bull often associated with strength in Egyptian

           and other cultures.   2. Leo, astrological symbol for The Lion, a symbol of

           strength, courage and power  3. Constellation Ursa Major, the Bear.  Bears were

           Heraldic symbols of strength.

Row 4

Repeat of Row 1.

The border of the breastplate portion and the necklace consists of many semi-precious stones, each thought to have particular attributes.

Golden Rainbow Fluorite – Protection against negative thoughts

Smoky Quartz – Enhance survival instincts

Citrine – Strength and self confidence

Autumn Jasper – Protection from negative energy

Black Onyx – Keep one safe from harm

Turquoise – Absorbs negative energy

Leopard Jasper –Assists and protects during physical and spiritual travel

Iolite – A stone of power and strength

Pietersite –Provides physical protection

Mahogany Obsidian – Provides strength in times of need

Carnelian- Stone of protection from fear

Malachite – Restorer of life

Quartz Crystal – Stone of power – brings the energy of the stars into the soul

Materials:

Cotton cloth, batting, thread, handmade paper cloth, acrylic paint, Shiva Paintsticks, copper sheet, seed beads, copper wire, 13 different semi-precious stones

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16 thoughts on “Armor for a Modern Woman

  1. What a beautiful piece, and what wonderful meaning. To me jewelry is at its best when it is iconic, and this breastplate embodies such rich spiritual content from so many sources that it is surely that – iconic. I happen to know the work of this artist because I’m a collector of her art. In person, it is of course even more magical and strong than in these images. Invariably when I wear the pieces that I have, people stop me to ask where I found them. They really are unique and they have such presence that their energy can be clearly felt. This particular creation looks to me more like a museum piece than something one person should own, particularly because of all of its empowering references. Combined with the beauty and grace of the design, that makes it a treasure indeed.

     

    Esther Essinger 

  2. What a beautiful piece, and what wonderful meaning. To me jewelry is at its best when it is iconic, and this breastplate embodies such rich spiritual content from so many sources that it is surely that – iconic. I happen to know the work of this artist because I’m a collector of her art. In person, it is of course even more magical and strong than in these images. Invariably when I wear the pieces that I have, people stop me to ask where I found them. They really are unique and they have such presence that their energy can be clearly felt. This particular creation looks to me more like a museum piece than something one person should own, particularly because of all of its empowering references. Combined with the beauty and grace of the design, that makes it a treasure indeed.

     

    Esther Essinger 

  3. What a beautiful piece, and what wonderful meaning. To me jewelry is at its best when it is iconic, and this breastplate embodies such rich spiritual content from so many sources that it is surely that – iconic. I happen to know the work of this artist because I’m a collector of her art. In person, it is of course even more magical and strong than in these images. Invariably when I wear the pieces that I have, people stop me to ask where I found them. They really are unique and they have such presence that their energy can be clearly felt. This particular creation looks to me more like a museum piece than something one person should own, particularly because of all of its empowering references. Combined with the beauty and grace of the design, that makes it a treasure indeed.

     

    Esther Essinger 

  4. Wow!  This breast plate is a wonderful idea.  With all the symbols with a sense of strenght, and yet

    the material connotes vunerability.   I would love to see this on a T-shirt!!

     Another thought would be to see this in the center of a small quilt so that it could be used as a

    wall hanging.

     Great job.

      Myrna

  5. This piece is an amazing undertaking.  It’s not only a beautiful piece of mixed media art/jewelry.  It’s an informative lesson in cultural anthropology.  This piece belongs in a museum.

  6. What a striking piece of work, replete with symbols and filled with the message of each gem. I am particularly delighted to see the artful combination of numbers (12 – for completeness) recalling the priestly breastplate representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Symbolic of the spiritual armor, it both protects and projects virtues.

  7. WOWWWW!!!!!!! Brillant, Beautiful. Well thought out and such a detailed piece. 

    I learned so much in this one piece. I love how it tells a story with so many

    eclectic symbolisms. Excellent work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Preists/shaman, have always sought protection through the sympathetic powers of healing earth minerals.  There is a long history associated with this type of imagery.  From the earliest venus of willendorf figurines with their promises of renewed fecundity, through the vestments worn by religious leaders, to the modern day talismans of designer watches.  Wealth, power, and respect has always been conveyed by  these traditional uses.  The fact that Susan has hi-jacked this image and reconfigured for a pro feminine mystique shows how these ideals while being ancient are now more than ever relevant.  Especially during current ecological events that we all face as the human tribe.

  9. An outstandingly beautiful piece. It’s a wonderful reminder to us women that we are strong and powerful in so many ways. Five stars for the breastplate and 10 stars for the artist who developed it.

    Julia Litaker

     

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