I wanted to explain the title given to a special little corner of my shop and why I chose it.
When my sister and I were growing up, my mother and grandmother would sometimes make biscuits for breakfast from scratch. They would give us the leftover scraps of dough to play with, and chocolate chips, raisins, sugar, and spices came to adorn fanciful biscuit creatures and shapes. We would get to enjoy them as a treat with our meal, or share them with the rest of the family.
When I am working with silver clay, I sometimes have little bits leftover. The pieces in the “Biscuit Dough” gallery are the result of creative fancy, and each is a one-of-a-kind treat. It’s a way for me to try out new techniques or styles and then offer them, often at a reduced price.
Here is a biscuit dough piece I am particularly happy with, called Persian Lion.
Gold and rich lapis blue was favored in Persia as well as ancient Egypt, and the lion is a symbol of royalty and the people of Iran, which is the modern day home of the ancient Persian Empire. When I think of Persia, I think of beautiful gardens and aviaries, fine artwork, and vibrant markets where guests were welcomed at the place where east met west. Persia’s first emperor, Cyrus the Great, was responsible for freeing the Jews that had been enslaved by the Babylonians in 539 BCE. He graciously gave them the funds to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem, and for many years Persia was a haven of peace, culture, learning, and tolerance.
The Persian or Asiatic Lion is an endangered subspecies that once ranged across the Mediterranean, India, and Asia. It was featured in artwork as early as 3000 BCE, and many peoples claim cultural heritage with the beast and the power and courage it portrays. Four Asiatic lions are featured in the emblem of India, and it is also in the Sri Lankan flag. Today, wild Panthera leo persica can only be found in the Gir forests in India. In 2010 there were less than 500 animals, though the numbers have steadily increased since the reserve was created in the early 1900’s.
The lion charm is made of pure silver on an 18 inch, 1mm thick Sterling silver snake chain, with real lapis lazuli as well as Czech glass beads. I wanted the piece to feel both old and new, and I know it will find just the right home. It can be found in my etsy shop.