We’ve written before about the esoteric creations of The Small Beast, a “true Seattle black metal” jeweler that continues to dazzle us with their powerful, keenly-textured pieces. Describing itself as a jewelry line for the modern Mystic, The Small Beast reinterprets metaphysical and occult themes using materials as old as the ideas themselves. Silver, copper, and shibuichi metals are blackened and aged, crystals are left raw, and hand-applied patinas, tool marks, and textures lend history and individuality to each piece.
On October 25th, The Small Beast released its latest collection of one-of-a-kind Ossuaries: pendants that serve as part memento mori and part tribute to the jeweled skeletons of the saints as well as the bone ossuaries of Europe. “Making tiny jeweled skulls is my way of bringing these sacred primal symbols that have been hidden away out into the light, where they can be celebrated,” says Shelby Lou, the formally-trained painter turned jewelry designer responsible for The Small Beast’s eclectic pieces.
The Ossuaries, which are released every month or so in never-duplicated designs, are one of two collections making up the shop’s offerings. The other is a made-to-order collection of sterling silver rings, bracelets, and necklaces that remain in the shop year-round, showcasing entirely different methods and materials while remaining true to The Small Beast’s ethos, steeped in history and inspired by ancient grimoires, folk magic, and grey areas and hidden corners.
Though several of the new pieces — including a stunning moonstone Ossuary and two flight talismans cast from starling talons — sold out almost instantly, many unique pendants are still awaiting their owners. The weathered appearance of the metal gives the pendants an heirloom-like quality that begs to be snatched up and treasured, and we recommend you act quickly. Additional silver pieces, like the stardust rings Shelby teases us with on her Instagram, will be released soon. The Small Beast is truly one of the most innovative jewelers out there, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
“I am always kind of shocked when I am told my pieces are dark. I feel they are just commenting on the human condition. I guess it all comes down to perspective.” — The Small Beast