Monday, July 13, 2009



“Questing Woman”

"She who knows her own sacred sound"

For years I have created my Goddess Ceremonial necklaces as a tribute to women everywhere. I have always envisioned women wearing the necklaces to celebrate a particular milestone in their lives or to mark some other special occasion.

In the past, the materials I found while contemplating the design of a necklace determined its final form. But recently, I decided to start trying to customize some of my necklace designs to reflect something personal about the wearer. I made the first of these custom necklaces for Kayla Finley.

Kayla Finley

I met Kayla about a month ago when she stopped by my booth on the Roanoke farmers’ market. She is a healer, a drummer, a writer, and more, and has a strong spiritual connection to Native American culture. She told me her last child recently “left the nest,” and that she is enthusiastically embarking on an exciting new phase of her life.

"She who seeks the path of the ancients"

Kayla purchased a necklace from me and gave it to a friend as a birthday present. Afterwards, she contacted me to see if I would make another one for her. Kayla is such an interesting, multifaceted person, I decided she would be a great subject for my first custom necklace design.

I create my necklaces using unusual items I find at antique shops, flea markets, etc. I use one of my original stoneware clay faces in each necklace and surround it with the appropriate embellishments. With Kayla’s necklace, the embellishments have taken on a new purpose since they must reflect something specific about the wearer. After searching for several weeks, I found the perfect items.

Turquoise, pewter

Sterling feathers

Sterling bird

Egyptian scarabs

Kayla's special necklace,"Questing Woman"

Questing Woman

Like many of my Goddess Ceremonial Necklaces, this one makes generous use of turquoise in homage to the jewelry of the Navajo whose style I have always admired. It is even more apt than usual in this creation, Kayla, because of your love for Native American culture. Turquoise use by Native Americans can be traced back as far as southern Arizona’s Hohokam culture in 200 BC. As I suspect you’re aware, various cultures through the millennia have claimed that turquoise brings prosperity, health or good fortune to the owner. May it do so for you.

The arrowhead and feathers at the bottom of the piece are elements I have not commonly used in these necklaces. Here, they constitute a more emphatic statement of your spiritual connection to Native American culture and your association with the Ring Thunder tribe of Rosebud, South Dakota. At the height of the plains Native American culture, the Lakota were among the most avid users of feathers to symbolize specific traits or achievements of the wearer. The feathers serve a second purpose in this piece by also symbolizing your connection with “Many Feathers.

In ancient Egyptian culture, the scarab symbolized rebirth and renewal. “Questing Woman” includes two scarabs: one to reflect your rebirth and renewal as you enter a new phase of your life, and one to reflect the renewal you provide your clients through your practice of energy healing.

The ascending bird over the forehead of “Questing Woman” represents a falcon. In medieval heraldry, the falcon symbolized a person in vigorous, unrelenting pursuit of a goal. In ancient Egyptian culture, the falcon was linked to the divine. In other cultures and times, this regal bird has represented freedom. Here, the falcon reflects your ongoing pursuit and achievement of spiritual wisdom as you begin a new phase of your life.

- Cheryl Dolby -

I hope Kayla likes her special necklace. Her website is

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