Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Juju Stick Magic Wand

Sometimes I live in an imaginary, fantasy world in my mind.  In this place, mermaids, gypsy queens, magical fairies, and knights in shining armor live, along with Cinderella, hobbits and princesses...they live in swamps that are cool and misty with moss draped trees, or castles made of stone, hanging from the side of a majestic mountain.  These sparkles in my mind sometimes manifest themselves as assemblage art, containing crystals, glitter, rhinestones, mirrors, beads, glass and other small found treasures.  This is one of those pieces.  It's a magic wand that I call The Juju Stick.  I made it about a year ago, but just never shared it in detail here on the blog.

Why the name, The Juju Stick?  Juju is a Gypsy word that means "luck" and because I am Juju to my grandchildren.

I love to find fragments of things that are no longer useful for their intended purpose and give them new life by creating these fun and magical pieces. This piece started with a broken horse riding crop that I picked up at an estate sale for $1.  (I never pass up a wood fragment of anything that's marked $1!)  I don't always know what these found pieces will become, but I do know that something will eventually pop into my mind.  After the pics, there's a detailed explanation of the elements used in this piece.

I took The Juju Stick outside in the sunshine yesterday for a photo shoot, and it just seemed so "at home" hanging in a tree or resting on a moss covered tree stump in the swamp. Yes, I can get some great pictures in our forest that borders our swamp...look carefully at the pictures...I could have sworn I saw some fairies fluttering about...


The entire length of the piece is 38 1/2".  The large 2" faceted crystal on the top is a chandelier crystal that I re-purposed by soldering copper foil around the pointed end and attaching it to the end of the crop.  I then attached these various magical elements:  
  • Definition of Magic as found in an old dictionary, cut out and sandwiched between to long microscope glass slides, then soldered together and darkened with patina.  I backed the dictionary page side with a green paisley decorative paper.
  • A brass wing...
  • A 1" faceted crystal drop (also from a chandelier)...
  • A 1" round mirror with soldered bezel made of copper foil tape.
  • A black glass handmade bead with copper glitter stripe.
  • A golden colored glass nugget wrapped in copper foil and soldered to form bezel.
  • Two cultured pearls...
  • A bronze colored metal bead with rhinestones..
  • A gold colored tassel with bead at the top...
  • A round mother of pearl disk...
  • Shaft is embellished with a ring of pearls and rhinestones...
  • Halfway down the shaft I've embellished with handmade Florentine paper and vintage sheet music.
  • Embellished with dressmaker's black trim with rhinestones, near sheet music on shaft.

This piece is not listed on my Etsy shop, JujuQueen.  It is available for purchase.  If interested, please send me an email.  Price:  $200

Thanks for hanging out with me today.  Please leave comments and let me know what you think.  I love to hear from you...it proves to me that people are reading!


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  1. I do believe I saw fairies also, beautiful piece Judy !!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you for the sweet comment, Karan! I'm glad to know you saw them too. Now, I know it wasn't just my imagination!

  2. I love your juju stick and I think the land of mermaids, fairies and unicorns is a great wold to be in sometimes!

    1. Thank you! I'm happy to see that others like fairy tales, too! I hope you have a magical day!

  3. My hubby makes magic wands and walking sticks too. He made some out of old pool cues that came out really nice. I've been trying to get him to hang stuff off his like you did. That's really cool!

    1. Oh, really? I need to see those. They sound cool!

  4. Judy I love it, you did a great job, wish i could get it! I know who ever gets it will really appreciate it!!

    1. Thank you Cathy! I appreciate that sweet comment.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Heather! It was a fun piece to make, and I'll have to say I will miss it a little if it ever sells!
      I appreciate the sweet comment!