I’ve always loved Shaman type necklaces or jewelry.  Anything grungy, earthy, ethnic, tribal….these are all words that sing to me when I think of jewelry.  I love this style, probably more so than any other but seldom create anything using this theme – well kind of, but very understated.  I’ve always wanted to create something really out there but have never found the time, inspiration, materials etc so have always just put it off.

Well I had just been given some very cool sea urchin spines (refer to the previous blog post for that one) which really inspired me so while I had everything out on the table I decided to have a go at something a little more “intense”.  Now this is not everyone’s style…this is certainly not a piece I expect will be worn but the challenge was in the creating and that was the fun part.  I think stepping outside your normal boundaries can be quite liberating and expressive and this is exactly what I’ve found. I now want to continue on and eventually create a body of work along this theme.

The first step to create my Shaman Inspired Necklace was to create the necklace base which I did using some cording I found at the second hand store (gosh I love those places).  I used some wool rovings and simply wrapped the cording around (kinda blanket stitch) to create a nice necklace base to work on.  The softness of the cording and rovings made it easy to wire and sew through as well.

I then used one of the amazing buttons Lisa Lambright from Denver gave me (huge thanks Lisa and Mary) which suited this style perfectly.  I used some hand dyed fabric to create the clasp loop and to tie the button on with.

I had a range of bits and pieces on my table which I had been working with and also some polymer components which had been recycled from other pieces.  You can see in these pics I have fish bones which I had recycled from a large fish my son caught (which we ate of course).  I boiled them, cleaned them up and left them in the sun to bleach for 4 months.  I also used fish scales (from the same fish) which I dried then coloured with alcohol inks.

I also found some really cool hair dye sample pieces at the second hand shop.  I had no idea what I would do with them when I bought them but I decided to use them in this piece and found the nice reddish one worked well.

I also used Yabbie claws, sea urchin spines, driftwood, shells, beach pebbles, fish bone beads, feathers and some random polymer spikes. The large crab claws are incredible special to me as they can really only be found in very deep ocean.  My son (the crayfisherman) saves them for me so whenever I use them it always has special meaning.  This crab claw in particular had a broken shell so I wrapped some of the dyed fabric around it and it was then easy to tie off onto the necklace frame.

And this is how the final piece turned out.

I think this one might either get framed or I might make something for it to hang from.  Definitely will become a display piece not something to wear….that’s my thoughts anyway.

So I hope you liked the process.

Happy creating everyone.

Love Deb





Leave a Reply

4 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
MeredithDiana ReidJenJoey Barnes Recent comment authors
Notify of

Like the finished product not sure about the crab claws, but everyone has different ideas about how this works and I thank the many gods for Debbie Cruthers who breaks the ties that bind us all. Love you Deb and I would like A news letter

Diana Reid
Diana Reid

Debbie, your Shaman Inspired Necklace is absolutely outstanding!!!!!! How talented you are!!!!!


I love watching the process and hearing
the back story when you create and i love the history in this one. Very exciting work

Joey Barnes
Joey Barnes

Deb – love this piece and the story behind the bits. I have some fish bones and scales and a shed snakeskin in my stash (among many other things). Sometimes is crazy hard to use them – I don’t want to part with them! I know you get it.

You inspire me!

Website by studio 8T4 Rachel Weaver