To enhance my amulets and pendants
I have created chain to carry the motif.
When I designed the Green Man it came upon me:
what was needed was a chain of leaves.
Small leaves to make a chain:
maple, oak, apple, larch and several others
eleven in all (so far!).
I now offer the leaf chain as both an enhancement to other pieces
bracelets, necklaces, hand flowers and waist chains (like belts for dancers).
Each chain is unique in that the order of the leaves vary
according to the time of their creation.
Most do not “repeat” a pattern;
they are composed in a completely random fashion.
Some of the leaf chains are “custom”:
they are created in the order of the client’s desire.
Every link is held together by a silver jump ring
soldered to make the chain solid.
In the past I created “eternal” chains
with no clasp
designed to simply put over the head;
but typically they are accompanied with a lobster clasp
for spring loaded security.
The Leaf Chain is an original design of Amulets by Merlin;
each chain is made one at a time by the artist.
more of Merlin’s Chains may be seen at the
Hand crafted Chain Page
created and developed
by Kirk McLaren
of Amulets by Merlin
A custom “Charm Holder” and necklace.
The Charm Holder
A custom necklace
to hold various amulets
After searching “high and low” (as she put it) for several years,
such a thing was not to be found.
Apparently my client had a charm holder made in the ‘70s,
but due to her allergy to gold and the problem of breakage,
she sought a jeweler to re-create the piece.
After sending me a rather blurry image with a written description
I created a rendering fro her approval.
Because of her purposes for the piece
I added the triple moon at the top harnessing a hinge and clasp for the armature to swing out,
change the amulets out as needed and clasp again behind the triple moon shield.
I did not add stones because it would “color” what it is
holding to a narrow spectrum of purpose.
Shown here are three amulets in combination:
the High priestess, Leo and an ancestor skull bead.
This combination holds the vitality and perseverance of Leo,
the qualities of the Akashic amulet of the High Priestess
and the wisdom of the ancestors.
As the bearer of this Charm Holder,
she is able to construct a pattern of influences
needed for a specific purpose
or to develop a matrix of intent
for a period of time
and then reconstruct the holder for other purposes in the future.
Although this piece is a one of a kind,
I can create a charm holder of similar make and construction for you
with your choice of symbol at the top and size of armature.
Custom work is one of my favorite things to create,
so all you need to do is ask.
Based on the molecular theories of DNA construction,
Amulets by Merlin has created a line of jewelry harnessing the double helix motif.
Instead of using the classic construction
of sugars and phosphate groups joined by ester bonds,
the pendant, bracelet and earrings
are made of silver (or gold if you prefer).
Using the classic shape of the balls and rods,
the pendant is over two inches long with the pattern moving up over the bail;
the earrings resemble icicles tapering down from the ear
and the bracelet is created
with tiny interlocking hinges
allowing it to flow over supply over your wrist.
The DNA Jewelry Collection
DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints,
recipe, or code, containing instructions
needed to assemble other components of cells.
Metaphorically DNA may also be considered as a way
to keep and transmit information
or perhaps messages in small and compact places.
Dina Emerson’s nickname is DNA
and upon commissioning a ring for her partner
we developed a DNA ring.
Originally intended as a “one of a kind ring”
for her “one of a kind Bo”
but we thought it an interesting idea
to extend the ring into a full line of jewelry.
A new ring design for public release is forth-coming.
Dina is a Force of Nature with the Art of the Theater:
on and off stage
she blends into the fabric of
Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère
as if conjuring the images with her voice.
Twice nightly she sings mezzo-soprano
across the theaters of Treasure Island in Las Vegas
and the miracle of Mystère manifests fresh as an opening night.
She is accompanied by the beautiful
Silje-Marie Norderhaug who carries the soprano.
With the blessings of Dina Emerson,
Amulets by Merlin now presents a full line of jewelry:
the DNA Sequence:
pendant, earrings and bracelet.
Perfect for Microbiologists
and other folks who work with the tiny encoders.
After designing the Phoenix Head piece (now an amulet and brooch) I wanted to expand the motif to a necklace. I carved a series of six flames: each a tongue of fire, each holding loops at each end to be joined into a chain. The result was very interesting: after assembly the feel of the chain as it glides over the hand gives the allusion more of water than fire: smooth and silky.
After attaching it to the phoenix, I then developed the flame sprite from the chain, laying down the links and seeing what was being suggested. The flame sprite was one of my first “free form” pieces: instead of the normal process of sketching out drawings and mulling over design, I simply took up wax and carved her.
I also experimented with earrings and bracelets with the flame chain. Each time I worked with the links they suggested even more ideas. Years later I saw that the links could be modified into tiny sprites and thus the Pixie Flame Chain was born. I took the separate links and worked the design into tiny figures of the sprites, sizzling and extruding from fire. Again, no sketches were developed before carving: and I didn’t use “carving wax”; I used simple soft injection was – something that the “jewelry industry” frowns upon.
Most of my training I received in art was through my family: both of my Parents were educators in the Humanities: both trained musicians, scholars and in the case of my Mother: artist. One of the more pragmatic approaches I was taught was “what ever works: works”. Even though I follow the formula as taught in “old school” art (first you create a series of renderings and examine the concepts and then re-create drawings that work out details and over come obstacles), there are times when the wave of inspiration catches you and you ride it until you are done. It is often so with sculpting. One learns to “think with your hands” in the creation of art.
One finds this in all the arts, music is the same way: the basic melody or rhythm sets a foundation and the process of working the pattern with your hands will then yield new and interesting ways to develop design. I have found that switching media helps me to develop new ideas that would not occur to me otherwise.
One way to circumvent this obstacle is to develop several works in different media at the same time: imagery seems (at least for me) to require sound and touch to manifest completely: I listen to music and stories while I sculpt; I play the piano to think about shapes. I also use time to set aside one project and work on another, all the while the incubation process continues while I go for a walk or talk to a friend.
Art itself is a way of life: continually developing shapes, colors and sounds that amplify each project, developing hybrids of expression; forming experience into tactile objects, sounds from inspiration that in turn inspire.
This is one of my first pieces. Originally designed to be the front portion of a circlet, this design highlights the Double Headed Phoenix: a creature that rises from the ashes of the previous incarnation; a two headed manifestation; much like Janus the God that sees into the past: learning from the lessons of experience; looking into the future. The God of the gates and passages; of beginnings both abstract and concrete.
These ideas are combined into a single piece to produce a hybrid of ideas: renewal, vision, knowledge from experience and the ability to begin again with vitality and the promise of success.
The Phoenix amulet is 2 ½” across and is available as a brooch or necklace. The brooch has a long pin between the win tips for a secure fastening while the necklace harnesses the flame chain: completing the motif of fire and renewal.
The somewhat massive piece is for those that are working on the steps required in starting a new life, beginning a new project or career or simply taking a new look to life and the possibilities it holds.
Some years ago I wanted to enhance some of the amulets and pendants I created with a chain that would carry the motif. When I designed the Green Man it came upon me: what was needed was a chain of leaves.
Popping open a botanical book I then stared carving small leaves that could be then be attached together to make a chain: maple, oak, apple, larch and several others: eleven in all (so far!). I now offer the leaf chain as both an enhancement to other pieces and also bracelets, necklaces, hand flowers and waist chains (like belts for dancers). Each chain is unique in that the order of the leaves vary according to the time of their creation. Most do not “repeat” a pattern; they are composed in a completely random fashion. Some of the leaf chains are “custom”:they are created in the order of the client’s desire. Every link is held together by a silver jump ring that is in turn soldered to make the chain solid. I have in the past created “eternal” chains with no clasp but designed to simply put over the head; but typically they are accompanied with a lobster clasp for spring loaded security.
The Leaf Chain is an original design by Amulets by Merlin; each chain is made one at a time by the artist.
The Green Man as a work of art has many interpretations. In western culture it is found primarily in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Found from the ruins of ancient times carved in stone, there are many variations: a humanoid face with a wreath of leaves and at times the face is composed of foliage: branches and leaves coming out of the nose and mouth.
In modern times one can find renderings of the Green Man as an architectural form: paintings, sculpture and amulets; considered as a manifestation of youth, re-birth and rejuvenation. In the modern lore of western traditions it has been adopted as the first stage in a man’s life. The succession follows: the Green Man: the Youth; the Hunter: the Father and the Sage: the Wise Old Man. By wearing the Green Man Amulet, one is acknowledging this early stage and supporting the youth in ones own life as well as the vitality of those around them.
In my own work I have developed the Green Man Amulet. Using oak leaves and acorns to adorn the face, I have placed an opal in the forehead: signifying vision and possibilities. For those who want more than the amulet I have a necklace version: the Green Man Amulet hung on a chain of leaves linked together.
You can view this and many other creations at the Amulets by Merlin Website.