I have been saving my precious Laura Mears porcelain owls for quite a while now, and had originally planned to revisit them sometime next year. But after much hemming and hawing, I decided to tuck away those last two prehnite designs (Tending Necklaces and Oak Rings) to be finished next time around with the Mossflower Collection. And instead decided to gather up my last creative moments of this year and spend them with these owls.
2020 has been such a year of noise. Some that was powerful and thrumming leading into great, snapping cracks in edifices designed to elevate some and oppress the rest. There was a bit of sweet, grateful noise towards those who have risked so much recently in the service of others. There was other noise that was sharp and insidious: political bluster, cruel insults, and power posturing. And if you leaned in a bit, you could also hear the steady harmony of kindness underneath all the other crashing and bellowing: the buoying of people who are struggling, the supporting art and small business.
Here at the end of this year, after months of listening and feeling and not turning away, I crave a bit of silence. Silence like a cool stream on aching feet.
Perhaps you remember, my first porcelain owl collection was created as a meditation on silence. In these owls, I look for the grace that can be found in a moment of silence in a dark, wintry forest, wherein stars are close enough to touch and owls are your brethren.
Nighttime Forest Necklaces: $375 each
These necklaces are bold and sturdy. Studded with shimmery gray moonstone, jet black onyx, sterling silver pebbles, delicate curving leaves, an alder twig cast from a real branch, and a double layer for weight and substance. And resting above it all, a porcelain owl sculpted and painted by Laura Mears Designs.
They are asymmetrical in shape, curving and undulated around the various stones and silver elements, like a cool current of night air tracing its way around a tree. On the backs of all the pendants are the imprints of tiny stars, small pieces of the night sky to press upon the heart.
And on the backs of these pendants, an inscription. A long time ago I read an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and there is a quote by him that was the original inspiration for these pieces and feels particularly relevant here at the end of 2020: “Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of the gods.”
This was a line from an essay about friendship, and contextually it is about not sullying the pure connection between friends with unnecessary words. But I chose to consider that sentence apart, and took a simpler meaning: the divinity of silence.
Tiny Owl Rings: $250 each
These rings are such a joy to wear, I kept one for myself years ago. Whenever I wear it, I feel as I though I have a tiny familiar accompanying though the day. I love to glance down at it and feel as though I have conjured him out of the forest.
Above and below him are a icy moonstone with a flash of blue and a jet black onyx, dark like a forest dipped in midnight. And on either side of his face is a tiny branch cast from a real twig.
What sweet little fellows to wear upon the hand.
There will be a few available in the collection release in the following sizes: 6.25, 6.5, 6.75, 7, 8.25, 9.25, 10.25
Silent Owls with Grey Moonstone Bellies (Larger Size): $310 each
Perhaps my favorite design in the entire offering are these simple little owls, a few of them tiny.
Silent Owls with Grey Moonstone Bellies (Smaller Size): $245 each
Each studded with two tiny sterling silver pebbles, a faceted gray moonstone custom cut for this collection, and a double layer for weight and substance.
And resting above it all, a few different types of porcelain owl sculpted and painted by Laura Mears Designs.
On the backs of the pendants are the imprints of tiny stars, small pieces of the night sky to press upon the heart.
These pieces, particular the ones with the deep gray bellies, give me the feeling of silence I was trying to capture. The owls looks so patient and still.
They embody that silence I seek, that is both overwhelming and empty: a place for unfettered thought, a moment of beatitude. And then the smallest sound brings you back into the regular flow of being.
With the noise of this year, those moments of divine silence feel rare, but such a welcome balm. And these pieces are my attempt to capture those quiet moments.
The smaller ones are so sweet, don’t you think?
Barn Owls with White Chalcedony Drops: $335 each
And the final two designs, the full-bodied owls. These cabochons were always the hardest for me to claim during Laura’s shop updates.
Barn Owl with Onyx Drop: $360
They are the rare, full bodied version of her much loved barred owls. They are is set simply atop two layers of sterling silver. Understated to show off the detailing of the porcelain owl. Below them below them swing single gemstones, some with pearlize chalcedony, and one with a multi-faceted onyx.
And again, on the backs of the pendants are the imprints of tiny stars, pieces of a silent sky to carry with you.