First it was a stunning purple spirit crystal wrapped in buttery soft, ivory elk leather that caught my eye. Then, I spotted a fabulous elk leather hip belt. But what ultimately got me, was this statement-making black elk leather wrap-around cuff with a large turquoise cabochon hand-woven into the center of it.
Theresa Wangia is a very talented indie designer I discovered when I went to the Randolph Street Modern Vintage Market back in October. Her line, Beltshazzar Jewels, is an assortment of hand-made jewelry & leather goods for the Native Spirit made from natural elements such as feathers, leather, bone, horn, and seeds from the Amazon.
Her inspiration comes from her world travels, nature, color, texture, music and her multi-cultural heritage. Her Great Grandfather was a German cobbler working in the United States who made leather moccasins for the Indians & boots for Buffalo Bill; and her Grandmother was part Blackfoot Indian. Her free-spirit designs often have tribal undertones, as she often takes into account the Native American lifestyle and their philosophy of living off the sacred land.
The modern urban creations incorporate a mixture of color & texture and her traditional methods of working with materials are those used by tribal people from the Amazon, Kenya, and Papua New Guinea.
Seeing the intricate, quality craftsmanship first-hand, it’s obvious why Theresa was recognized as one of the top three RAW Artists accessory designers in the city of St. Louis. RAW: natural born artists, is an independent arts organization made up of artistic talent within film, fashion, music, visual art, hair & make-up, and performance art. The community welcomes all genres of art and strives to provide independent artists with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire & cultivate creativity and encourage success within the first 10 years of their career.
I’ve accumulated a lot of stone accessories lately and for a long time I’ve been wanting to look deeper into the meaning behind the different gemstones & crystals I own. So, I recently bought the book, The Book of Stones, Who They Are & What They Teach, to source my research.
My research into the 2” cool blue-green turquoise stone that’s woven into the center of my cuff has taught me that turquoise emanates tranquility and the desire to find wholeness & truth, several properties of the stone. It is also a stone of protection, strong & opaque, yet soothing to the touch and healing to the eye. The Navajos used turquoise to bring needed rain by throwing a stone into a river while praying to the rain god. Apaches thought Turquoise could enhance the accuracy of their weapons, and the Zuni believed it could protect them from demons.
When I wear my cuff with my Free People dagger necklace, I can’t help but feel like I’m a peace warrior – armed with my sword & shield…
This is just a tidbit of information I learned about the turquoise; I have many more turquoise pieces in my collection so I’ll elaborate more on the stone in another post. The study of stones is very complex and requires you to suspend your preconceived judgements and looks beyond the physical composition into metaphysical properties. I’m excited to learn about the beautiful crater creations and look forward to sharing my findings with all of you!
Do you believe in the power of stones?