Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Scarlett Garnet's Zodiac Line - A New Perspective

 The Zodiac

 I have always been intrigued by astrology.  There's something comforting to me that we are all born from the stars and therefor all connected by a force that's infinite, mysterious and terribly humbling.  That we are somewhat pre-determined in ways to reflect certain personality traits based on the positions of the stars upon our birth seems, at times, far fetched.  I've seen far too many instances, however, of  people being so true to their sun signs that I cannot say I disbelieve.  I remain open to this possibility and love learning more about astrology. I follow some amazing astrologers online including my favorites, Aquarius Nation and Hare in the Moon Astrology. as well as other online and printed resources.   

Katie is a Gemini, as am I, and we've always joked about the advantages (and disadvantages) of two geminis running a creative business together.  We have talked about creating a Gemini inspired piece since Scarlett Garnet's inception.  For years, we reminded ourselves we still had not created the Twin design yet, but kept putting it off for some reason.  Finally, in 2013, the Year of the Water Snake, the time came for us to launch the Gemini Necklace.  We both immediately realized that we couldn't JUST make one sign of the zodiac.  Our friends were already inquiring about their signs and we knew our customers would demand theirs as well.  This had to be all or nothing.  Thus, the Zodiac Line was born.  We could not have been more excited, and intimidated, to create our own interpretation in stainless steel of the ancient Zodiac symbols.  This project is so personal to so many people and we really wanted to honor it with our best work and intentions, down to every tiny detail, from the photoshoot, some numerology, the color scheme, the model selection, even the size of each item.  We put pen to paper and sketched until we had the perfect drawing for each pendant.

Taurus sketch

Seagoat sketch and tracing

Gemini sketches

Scorpio sketches

Our main goal was to think outside of the existing Zodiac symbol interpretations and create something new, incorporating our signature nouveau styling.  We decided to use zodiac stones instead of birthstones, thus eliminating the need to make each necklace with 2 different birthstone options, as the zodiac signs switch mid-month.  We did a lot of thorough research on gemstones and corresponding zodiac signs and chose the ones we felt best suited each sign.  Please note there are several stones associated with each zodiac sign, we chose the ones we felt most connected to.  Katie and I decided to launch the Gemini first, doing so on May 21st of 2013.  We launched the other signs consecutively each month over the course of the following year.  We did the photo shoots in 4 stages, all shot in very carefully chosen places in Kansas City, MO.  It was a wonderfully soothing and educational project to work on. 

During the project's inception, I ran into Emily Lodigensky of EMSKY Photography and M&E Photo Studio in the West Bottoms of KC and told her about our project.  She was really inspired and offered her photography services.  Katie and I had worked with Emily before with the Spaghetti Western Sunset Line.  Knowing Emily's style of work, I realized that she was the perfect photographer for our Zodiac Line.  Many of the shots were done in the M&E Photo Studio in the Bauer Building in the Crossroads Arts District.  We wanted to shoot all of them outside but the weather didn't permit.  Their studio provided the perfect back-up location.

 Aires photoshoot behind the scenes

Emily and I worked together on the styling and selection of models, sourcing from our pool of friends and creative acquaintances.  Katie and I wanted to ensure authenticity of the Zodiac Photo Shoot and insisted that each model actually be OF the sign they were portraying.  In fact, Emily was our Sagittarius model and Mollie Hull, the "M" from "M&E Photography" took the photos of her.  Mollie was also the perfect model for our Libra Necklace. For each symbol, I created lists of style ideas, location thoughts, make-up suggestions, props, etc. for each photoshoot, which included details such as the colors and elements associated with each sign.  Emily and I would then meet and she would inject her ideas of styling, location, lighting, and other details.  We found the combination of each of our ideas to create something bigger and better than we could have hoped for.  After Emily took the photos, she edited them and did post production work.  By adding her own artistic expression, the photos become other worldly and truly tell the epic tales of each sign. We feel the end result creates an atmosphere that reflects each sign's character, element and personality traits in an elegant and regal way.

 Aquarius photoshoot behind the scenes

 Capricorn photoshoot behind the scenes

 From left: Emily Lodigensky, Mollie Hull, Garnet Griebel

Katie, Emily and I aimed to create an epic shot for each symbol, our interpretation of each sign's essence told through physical beauty.  The level of detail and time that went into each photoshoot is inherent in the end results.  We are all very pleased to present the result of our collaboration with you. 

Model: Viravone Thomson-Foust, Co-Owner of The Farmhouse
Location: M&E Photo Studio
We wanted to depict a Mars Goddess Warrior, using flowing red velvet and silk fabrics.  Vira has such a gentle presence but you sense a burning passion hidden just beneath the surface.  I photo assisted, moving the fabrics around for several shots and Emily combined them to create this epic final presentation.  It looks like liquid magma flowing down the side of a delicate volcano.  I like to think of the burst of light as the sun with bits of the cosmos swirling around.

Aires Necklace
Known as "The Stone of Courage", bloodstone is ruled by the planet Mars.  It instills strength and determination and is said to warn of coming danger.  It's a great stone for blood cleansing and for healing in general, particularly from addictions.  It's a very grounding energy stone and resonates with the base, navel, sacral and heart chakras.  Bloodstone reminds us to be present in every waking moment.  It helps us to be less selfish and more idealistic.

Model: Danielle Meister, Co-Owner of Birdies Panties
Location: M&E Photo Studio
Daneille is very Taurean, she is a diligent worker and she's very focused on her path.  She enjoys the beauty in life and is very professional and down to earth.  I made her a little tiny copper horn headband set with vesuvianite to show the "stubborn" side of the taurus.  We created a regal look with different copper and cream fabric tones and Emily created the amazing background with her magic post-production skills.  Katie came in town from St. Louis and helped with photo assisting.

Taurus Necklace
Known as the "Stone of Prosperity" it brings light and joy into our lives, assisting us to bring our dreams and desires into fruition.  It stimluates the throat chakra and promotes communication of one's truth as well as heightening intuition.  It's also known as a "stone of wisdom, heightening our intellect and quest for knowledge and strengthening our memory.  Sapphire is a seeker of spiritual truth, reminding us to stay on the spiritual path.

Model: Mia Filo, owner of Salon Mia
Location: The Bauer Building
For Gemini, we wanted to create a Goddess of Wind, in a long light yellow gown and preferably with long red hair.  Mia was recommended through a friend and she was perfect!  She even had her own soft yellow gown and as a hair stylist, she did her own hair and make-up.  Gemini's are noted for their quick intellect, amazing communication skills, creativity  and their dual nature. Mia's subtle reflection in the rain soaked window represents her "Gemini Twin".   The rain mimics the look of liquid metal mercury as it slides down the window.   We hoped to do this shoot outdoors atop a bridge over the Missouri River but the pouring rain put a damper on our plans.  In true Gemini fashion, everyone was quick to adapt to the change of plans the morning of the shoot.

Gemini Necklace
Blue Lace Agate resonates with the throat chakra, assisting in communication and self expression.  It's a very calming and soothing stone, reducing anxiety and stress, bringing peace of mind.  It's a very positive stone, dispelling negative thought patterns.  It's a stone of hope and manifestation.  It also protects us from the fear of judgment of others.  It allows acceptance of ones own feelings, especially ones that seem confusing or foreign to us at first.  The design itself represents the Northwest winds in copper and the Southeast winds in stainless steel, the mixed metal representing the dual nature or Gemini.

Model: Jill McKeever, owner of For Strange Women Perfume
Location: The (Hidden) Beach of Kansas City, MO
Jill McKeever is one of the most Cancerean people we know.  She loves her home and chooses to spend most of her time there surrounded by close friends.  She doesn't let people in right away, keeping a hard outer shell, but once she does, she is the most kind and giving person.  She is a diligent worker, extremely detail oriented and is very particular.  She and I have spent many an afternoon and evening hanging out at the location of this photoshoot with friends.  It's a hidden beach just north of downtown with a small stretch of sand elevated above the Missouri River with a gorgeous view of the downtown bridges.  We dressed Jill in earthtones, she wore her own olive green dress, sweater and headpiece.  During the shoot, between many more serious shots, she playfully struck this crab like pose on her own.

Cancer Necklace
The "Stone of Successful Love", emerald it promotes balance in relationships and is said to bring domestic bliss.  It's known to promote unconditional love, faithfulness and loyalty.  Emerald is also said to help strengthen the memory and communication.  Emerald is said to embody all the green in nature and to open the heart chakra.  As Jill was the muse for this design, we mimicked her petite stature and made it one of the smallest of the zodaic pendants.  This tiny, sand-blasted steel crab is less than an inch in size.

Model: Dillon Kinnison, server at The Westside Local
Location: West Terrace Park, overlooking the West Bottoms
We had never met Dillon before this photoshoot but my dear friend, Tara, our Capricorn model, recommended her.  As Leo is the most outgoing and flamboyant of all the signs, I wanted to find a tall woman with long hair to depict the Lioness Goddess.  Dillon was perfect!  We dressed her in a long eggplant gown and sequined top and I handmade her "crown".  The sun shaped fence overlooking the West Bottoms and thought this was the perfect "kingdom" for our KC Leo to overlook.  Dillon, who has never modeled before, was very natural and made the perfect Lioness Goddess.

Leo Necklace
Black Onyx is said to provide self control and wisdom in making appropriate decisions.  It assists in identifying and letting go of bad habits.  Black onyx gives the wearer self confidence and  banishes negative emotions and sadness.  Black onyx is very grounding and is associated with the base chakra.  We wanted to make the Leo design the largest, seeing that Leo's are known to be big personalities, natural born leaders and the life of the party.  This birch wood round disc is lightly stained with a gold finish, to mimic the sun, and the stainless steel lion looks both ferocious yet regal.

Model: Leonor Jurado Laspina, artist and photographer
Location: JFK Memorial Park in the Northeast
For Virgo, the sign most associated with beauty, service, innocence and virtue, we wanted to create a Woodland Goddess.  We imagined a dark beauty shrouded in ivory lace.  My friend Leonor was the perfect model.  She is from Quito, Ecuador, and her dark and mysterious beauty was precisely what we wanted.  Emily suggested this location, a wooded area in the Northeast.  Leonor naturally picked up this fallen tree branch and set it just so, as if she was becoming part of the tree line.  She truly is an Ecuadorian Earth Goddess!

Virgo Necklace
The "Stone of Creativity", carnelian assists one in accessing their own inherent talents.  It inspires leadership and courage.  It's associated with the base and sacral chakras.  Carnelian assists in times of rebirth, allowing one to take action and move forward towards positive change.  It is said to calm anger, jealousy and rage.  Carnelian also promotes sexuality and self confidence.  Our virgo design depicts a beautiful woman holding a piece of wheat, representing the Virgo's natural tendency to create and nurture.  She is rooted to the ground, as Virgo's are Earth Signs.  Tiny faceted carnelians surround the woman, who is depicted inside a nouveau-shaped shield, representing her protectiveness over herself and those she loves.

Model: Mollie Hull, photographer, co-owner of M&E Photo Studio
Location: JFK Memorial Park in the Northeast
For Libra, we wanted to create a Goddess of Balance and Strength.  Mollie is all about balance.  Between work and play, in her relationships, and within herself.  She practices yoga diligently but her light-hearted, fun nature  brings happiness and silliness to all.  She works very hard but manages to slip away for adventures as often as possible.  She truly follows the wind wherever it takes her.  Emily suggested the location, its columns seem to evoke justice and balance.

Libra Necklace
Peridot brings balance between soul and ego.  It instills confidence while helping to release feelings of jealousy, hatred and greed. It resonates with the heart chakra, and is known to increase love and joy.  It's particularly useful to those who are spiritual and wish to become more intuitive.  Peridot promotes purity, morality and lightness.  A stone of rebirth, it assists us to remove past guilt.   Peridot opens our hearts to accepting new relationships.  It's a powerful cleansing stone, removing toxins and reducing stress and anxiety
Model: Elizabeth Bohannon, co-owner of We Are Tribe and member of The Caves
Location: The Bauer Building
Dress: Hadley Johnson
Scorpios are known for their mysterious nature, they are lone wolves, choosing no pack, yet able to drift in and out of social scenes when they choose so.  Others are drawn to Scorpios as they seem to possess some inner secret, and their solitary nature creates the look of confidence and invokes intrigue.  Scorpios are known to read other people extremely well, as if they can peek in to your soul, while revealing nothing about themselves.  Scorpios tend to be very creative, they are extremely hard workers and when they set their mind to a goal they usually over achieve.  They can tend to be prone to jealousy and can use manipulative tactics to get what they want.  In love, their hearts tend to be possessive once they find their soul mate, they are usually loyal for life.  Elizabeth "Bo" Bohannon was the perfect Scorpio for our photoshoot.  She is extremely talented, gifted in all things fashion and musical, and I'm sure possesses many other hidden talents.  She's very mysterious, gorgeous and very much a lone wolf.

Scorpio Necklace
The "Stone of Courage and Protection", aquamarine helps us to open our throat chakras and speak our truth.  It also helps us to discover our truths, our paths, our inner power, our desires and needs.   Aquamarine reflects self identity, much like the ocean reflects the color blue onto the sky.    It resonates with the heart and throat chakras, and enhances communication with ourselves and others, and with the spirit realm.  Great for meditation, aquamarine releases anxiety and brings inner peace.  It's a good stone for healers and shaman.  Aquamarine possesses ocean energy, bringing the relaxation and calmness of the sea.  Sailors used to carry them to ensure safe travel on water.  Aquamarine helps with absorbing knowledge, and is a great stone for those in school.  It also helps overcome fear of public speaking.     Aquamarine is a self healing stone, helping us to release old emotional wounds and anger.

Model: Emily Lodigensky, Owner of EMSKY and co-owner of M&E Photo Studio
Location: Water Tower in the Northeast
Photo: Mollie Hull
Independent, optimistic and jovial, The Archer is passionate about life!  They love and seek adventure, feeling bogged down by the daily routine of life.  They often seek freedom and independence to create their own schedules, many working for themselves, usually in a creative type of environment. They are honest, sometimes to a fault, as they are straight shooters.  If you really want a true opinion, these are the people to ask.  They can sometimes be too optimistic, to an unrealistic fault.  Their fire side means they have short tempers, however, they are usually as quick to forget what angered them as they were to erupt in anger in the first place.   Emily Lodigensky fits this description in many ways.  She is very outgoing and offers her honest opinion.  She is never afraid to speak her mind.  She's a talented photographer and artists, earning her living on her own time and schedule.  She is hilarious and fun to be around, usually the one making everyone else laugh in a social setting.  She and Mollie are responsible for the awesome flames depicted in this photograph.  Of course, they know people who professionally play with fire!  This was my favorite of all the photo shoots as it involved a sense of danger and adventure.
Sagittarius Necklace
A "Stone of Good Fortune", Imperial Topaz brings good luck, joy and prosperity.  It also and promotes self manifestation of our desires, especially when used in meditation.
 It resonates with the Solar Plexus Chakra.  Imperial Topaz increases creativity and confidence, and also promotes self realization.   Imperial Topaz gives the wearer strength to calm their own emotions, perfect for the fiery Sagittarius.  It brings calmness and relaxation to the wearer.   Imperial Topaz brings mental clarity in all situations, allowing for more logical conclusions by helping us to see the bigger picture.  It's also a wonderful stone to assist one in overcoming self imposed mental blockages, giving the wearer courage to move forward.

Model: Tara Milleville, Alchemist's Apprentice at For Strange Women, Server at Westside Local
Location: Emily's backyard, KCMO
Capricorn's legend begins from Pricus, the seagoat, created by the Greek God Chronos.  Capricorns are the most diligent and efficient workers of all the zodiac signs.  They're also among the most intelligent.  Just like the mountain goat, they aim to find their way to the top, even it it takes years.  They're ambitious, disciplined and take their work very seriously.  When they set goals, they usually surpass them.  They tend to be gregarious in nature, they usually posses a keen sense of humor and a great outlook on life.  Capricorns are very grounded people who also tend to be very stubborn.  Their stubbornness, however, is not unfounded.  They're experts at finding the quickest way to solve a problem in the most efficient manner and tend to get annoyed when others don't understand.  They tend to be old souls, they are wise and practical.  They're also extremely resourceful and self motivated.  They see the bigger picture of life and know their place within it.  Our friend, Tara, is the ideal Capricorn model.  She divides her time between two jobs, yet still makes time for family and friends.  She's an old soul, level headed and practical, and gives great advice.  She's very intelligent and doesn't waste her time with trivial things.  I handmade the horn headband with 8 roles of brass wire, crystal glass beads, chain and leather.

Capricorn Necklace
The "Stone of Royalty", Ruby has been the stone of Kings and Queens throughout history.
It is a protective stone and is said to help create and maintain wealth as well as encourage leadership.  It instills confidence and courage as well.  It helps to attract love and maintain devotion.  Ruby encourages us to follow our passions, to find our bliss.  It helps reduce negative thoughts and negative patterns.  Ruby is a great stone to increase energy, heighten concentration and motivation.  Ruby promotes self love, and helps promote more positive thoughts.  Ruby is associated with the base chakra. increasing desire and stimulating sexuality, and can be used to activate the Kundalini.

Model: Andrea Birdsell, bartender at The Phoenix
Location: The Bauer Building
Aquarius, the Water Bearer, is independent and aloof.  They are so self reliant that they can tend to be non-committal, preferring their solitude to being in a relationship unless it's the "One".  The water they symbolically pour represents giving life and cleansing the past.  They are inventive and original, one of the most quirky of the signs.  They refuse to follow the herd, and encourage others to do the same.  Even though they are associated with the Water of Life, they are actually air signs.  They are highly intelligent, curious beings.  They tend to be humanitarians and idealists.  Andrea is someone who walks to the beat of her own drum.  She is very talented, she used to own a very successful vintage clothing store.  These days she is building lamps out of vintage parts and doing all the electrical wiring herself.  She has a slight fear of commitment, preferring her alone time to being tied down to anyone.  She's quirky and fun and currently makes her living bar tending at KC's premier jazz club, the Phoenix.  She loves yoga, which came in handy with this photo shoot.  To get this perfect shot, she had to hold this pose sitting on a stool while I fluffed the fabric all around her.  This took several takes, from which Emily used her post editing magic to remove the stool and create this breathtaking, floating, watery shot.

A "Stone of Commitment", garnet is a stone of romantic love.  It's associated with the base chakra and boosts passion, sensuality, loyalty, sexuality and devotion.  It's a wonderful stone to increase creativity.  Garnets promote success in all endeavors but most especially in business.  Garnets boost self confidence, remove inhibitions and increase popularity.  Garnets increase energy levels and boost the immune system.  Garnets help maintain self control and anger, especially towards oneself.

Model: Theodis Williams, lamp maker at Beacon Industries, MC at Dr. Sketchy's, Model
Location: The Bauer Building
Pisces are depicted by two fish swimming in opposite directions.  This depicts the dual nature of the Pisces, they often feel pulled in two directions.  They are among the most intuitive of the signs.  They are great at reading people and are very compassionate and understanding of others.  They are able to connect in some way to everyone who crosses their path.   They believe in the good in humanity and seek to help others around them.  They very adaptable in all situations.  They tend to be very artistic and usually have occupations in some sort of creative field.  Pisces are among the most sensitive of the signs.  They are very empathetic to others and are sensitive to criticism, even prone to moments of self pity.  They tend to snap out of these times fairly quickly, however.  They often get lost in their thoughts, and seem unreachable at these times when they're in their own little world.  Pisces tend to dream big and often reach their goals.  They are truly people loving, caring souls.  "Sonny" Theodis Williams was our first choice for our Pisces model.  He is one of the most kind, caring souls we know, he gives the most amazing hugs and always wants to make sure his friends are doing well.  He is amazingly creative, he re-purposes wooden drum shells into lamps, bedazzles cow skulls until they look like rustic disco balls.  He could start his own interior design company if he wanted to.  Sonny is stunning and we really wanted to turn him into a merman for this shoot.  Katie and Emily acheived this look by draping him in fabric, and waving the fabric around the base of the couch to mimic the movement of water.  Emily added all the amazing effects using her ninja photo editing skills.

Pisces Necklace
Known as the "Stone of Sobriety", amethyst is an all around healer of mind, body, and soul, but is a particularly powerful protector from addictions from alcohol and drugs.  Amethyst increases psychic abilities and intuition and opens us up to the spiritual plane.  This makes amethyst a wonderful stone for meditation, It reduces stress, sadness and anger.  Amethyst promotes better sleep and lucid dreaming, as well as remembering and understanding our dreams.  It heightens spirituality and promotes selflessness.  Amethyst provides emotional stability and inner strength.

Crystal Vaults 
Charms of Light
Healing Crystals
Cafe Astrology 
Astrology Zone
"The Encyclopedia of Crystals" by Judy Hall
"Love is in the Earth - A Kaleidoscope of Crystals" by Melody
"Healing Crystals and Gemstones From Amethyst to Zircon" by Dr. Flora Peschek-Bohmer & Gisela Schreiber
"The Magic of Crystals Colour & Chakra" by Sue Lilly, Simon Lilly, Stell Martin, Josephine de Winter and Gill Hale

1 comment:

D Padhi said...

Hello there, Are you still in business? I see your own website is gone.