Charms, Amulets and Talismans

"It seems that the soul... loses itself in itself when shaken and disturbed unless given something to grasp on to; and so we must always provide it with an object to butt up against and to act upon." Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580

Amulets have appeared throughout history and across many cultures in an infinite variety of forms. Each has been invested with the hope or belief that it could somehow mediate on behalf of it's owner. They are tiny embodiments of the anxieties we fell about our human frailties, their assumed powers often drawing on the arts of folklore, superstition and magic.

I have always been fascinated with the perceived power of the object, wether bestowed by the maker, the wearer or both, and feel compelled to explore this area of jewellery, in an attempt to create objects "to butt up against and to act upon" - objects that might themselves, as in Montaigne's description, help to anchor the soul.


Amulet necklace | Amhara, Ethiopia 

Amulet Necklace | Fulani people, Northeast Nigeria and Chad

March 17, 2015 by Kirt Holmes
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