I spotted the work of Zai Zai Jewelry on Etsy (x) about a month ago. She makes fantastic necklaces out of polymer clay and there were quite a few I simply needed. But this one...I knew I needed this one for October. I dropped very heavy hints to Ian and he got it for me for our anniversary (3 years woohoo)! This is honestly the most unique necklace I have ever seen. I showed it to Ian's dad and he said"...what is the significance of the breasts?" To which I answered, "I really don't know but aren't they fabulous?" This necklace is called The Plague Doctor in reference to the mask that the woman is wearing. These masks were used during the Bubonic Plague to shield the doctors from the airborne illness. They would stuff the beaks of the masks with herbs and flowers to help with the smell and provide protective properties. I think this necklace was so arresting for me because the heavy mask next to the woman's flesh just feels so wrong. She seems to symbolize protection but also vulnerability, like a Goddess of the Plague or something.
Things like this are obviously right up my alley: I, being a girl who loves studying medieval art and practices, can't help but get excited every time someone references these things in their art. I like that the style is slightly steampunk, so it almost brings the piece into the realm of Victorian gothic. I knew I needed some eerie pictures to go along with it so I shot these in my bathroom. I think I will feature it again as the winter months come, hopefully outside next time so I can get some more evenly-lit detail shots. For now, please enjoy my ghostly take on the Plague Doctor Goddess.
Necklace -- Zai Zai Jewelry // Bodice -- UO circa 2011