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:: Protection for the Wandering Spirit ::

SALE: Reduced to $230, originally $267.

An intriguing cluster of diverse amulets, charms and talismans, this wonderful Drylands Incantations assemblage necklace looks great from any side. I brought together many treasures for this one, as its creation spun itself out over three days. But my favorite part is unseen: the contents of the handsewn amulet. As with all pieces in this series, this necklace comes with its own handmade collage gift box and written description, entirely designed by myself (see my Shop Announcement for more on this series).

I have long been fascinated with amulets and talismans from traditional cultures; this one was inspired by the triangular amulets that can be found all over central Asia from Turkey to Pakistan and beyond. In that part of the world, the triangle represents the Goddess and is widely regarded to have protective properties.

My handstitched deerhide version contains the treasures of the Desert Southwest: Salt that I gathered in the Mojave Desert, sea salt, rattlesnake skin, cactus spines, cholla cactus flowers, and Navajo Ghost Beads made from juniper seeds. There is also white and golden copal and Mayan black copal incense, and myrrh tears. Salt, snakes, spines, and Ghost Beads are thought to have protective qualities, while the flower petals are for blessing and beauty. Copal resin is used in Central and South America for purification and spiritual offering, and myrrh is the beloved, calming heart-healer of the Near East.

These substances were placed in the amulet which was then stitched closed, and adorned with a vintage mother of pearl button on one side. Keeping the amulet company, there is a cowrie shell, a widely-used symbol of the vulva and Divine Feminine--also protective--and next to it is a Central Asian bell on a chain. On the other side there is an old brass bell from Asia. You will also find two strands of beads, one with Swarovski Crystal and the other with old African trade glass, each ending in a brass spike. With them is a charming reproduction Sacred Heart medal.

On a separate strand of beaded links is a really fun charm I made from an old brass bullet casing found on a desert walk. A milky, translucent agate tooth has been wired inside, and a fragment of nickel etched with my script is wrapped around the outside. All of the pointed elements are masculine, and are also protective symbols.

The chains are as interesting as the talisman cluster: two kinds of sterling chain, brass rolo chain and crystal rosary chain come together at the top with my own rock-hammered sterling clasp. More charms punctuate the chains. On one side, there is a fine silver and resin charm with the alchemical symbol for "Earth", for grounding. On the other, a tiny bronze bezel holds a scrap of 1800s prescription script, a vintage watch part, and a bit of glitter, all encased in crystalline resin. And at the top, a tiny brass hand and tribal bell add just the right touch.

...I begin these pieces "blind": I just start out with one thing and, as Tolkien said, "the tale grew in the telling". The journey was filled with false starts and misgivings but I fell in love with the end result. It looks and feels like an old amulet brought back from faraway places, catching the light as it turns and dances. You're going to fall in love with it, too.

Size: 50cm from the clasp at the back of the neck to the bottom of the longest charm strand. The chain assemblage has a total length of 80.5cm. The amulet assemblage is 11.8cm x 5cm.

Care: The leather amulet should not be immersed, BUT...you can hold the necklace by the leather amulet and rinse the rest of it in water, being sure to keep the leather dry as you do so. Blot dry with a soft towel.

Protection for the Wandering Spirit will arrive beautifully giftwrapped in a personalized box as described above.

Frequently asked questions about DesertTalismans

CUSTOM ORDERS: My work is one of a kind and I do not accept any custom orders, including requests to recreate previously sold items.

RESERVING AN ITEM: Items may only be reserved for previously established customers. Payment must be made in full at time of purchase. No partial payments in order to hold an item prior to sale are accepted. Reserves are meant for an occasional basis; please do not ask for everything you want to buy to be put on reserve for you, as it is not fair to me or to other customers.
The size of each item is given at the bottom of each listing. The only variations in size are for rings that are adjustable. See the listings for details.
Care instructions are provided at the bottom of each listing.
All items are giftwrapped and carefully packaged for shipping. See my Sample Packaging listing for details.
Sorry, wholesale is not available at this time.
All items and images in the Desert Talismans shop are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form, or in any medium, without the written permission of Dawn Wilson-Enoch

SALE Leather Amulet Mixed Media Vintage Assemblage Necklace


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: deerhide, sterling silver, cactus flower, pewter, brass, bronze, Swarovski crystal, watch parts, vintage button, brass bell, old glass trade beads, myrrh, agate
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 637 reviews
  • Favorited by: 87 people