the language of wounds

the language of wounds from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

A new mix; for midsummer bloodletting

Track list:
Leave Behind by Sarah Cripps | Thirst by Louise Lemón | Emigre by Alela Diane | Mississippi by The Secret Sisters | Black Rose by The Glass Child | Body Below by Emily Fairlight | Julie by Rhiannon Giddens | Lament by Marisa Anderson | The Distance by Emma Ruth Rundle | Where the Heart Grows by Mellow Diamond

Erdem Resort 2019

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Most Resort collections are a milquetoast pastel snoozefest, but I am currently quite keen on the evocative romance of Erdem’s flowy fabric and dark, dreamy watercolor florals. And look at all of those dear, sweet ribbons and wreaths and ruffs and fluffs and gloves! Very high tea in a haunted English garden with your dangerously eccentric auntie, and I am here for it.

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Beautiful Objects Imbued With Profound Meaning: Under The Pyramids Interview & Giveaway

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[EDIT: A winner has been chosen! Congratulations to Pauline!]

Life is so funny sometimes! How one connection sparks the next, how distant souls find one another, how reading a stranger’s words, late one lonely winter’s night, can lead you to peeking into the life of a brand new stranger–a life of haunting elegance and filled with beautiful objects and exquisite creations–and, as it happens, a stranger who is a genuinely beautiful human, and who, over the years, becomes a very dear friend.

That is how I came to know Mathyld.

In her Parisian atelier, Mathyld handcrafts potent jewels and portable magicks as Under The Pyramids, inspired by nature, magick, lost civilisations and times immemorial. Working with sustainable, locally recycled silver, each and every creation is entirely handmade, every step of the way – sawn, soldered, hammered, stamped, oxidised, polished, etc. Each jewel is thus slightly different than the next, making them all individual and unique vessels to imbue with your own, personal magic and intimate enchantments.

We have kept in touch these many years, checking in with each new project, always curious as to what the other was up to, and eternally full of support and love for one another. Mathyld is a gem and a treasure, and I am so happy to know her. And I’m especially thrilled that she has agreed to do an interview for Unquiet Things, so that you can get to know her, as well!

I do hope you enjoy reading more about this wonderful creator and her extraordinary creations, and what’s more, she has generously agreed to a giveaway, as well! Please leave a comment on this post to be entered for a chance to win an Algiz Amulet, conjured by Mathyld herself, just for you! A winner will be chosen for this runic symbol of protection, one week from today, on Friday June 22nd.

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GIVEAWAY! Algiz Runic Amulet (chain 42cm / 16,5 inches) – recycled sterling silver.  Algiz is a powerful rune, symbol of protection.

Unquiet Things: You call your works “portable magicks”– I love the idea of  enchantments and charms that travel with you! Can you tell me more about this concept and how it ties in with your own practice and guides your artistry?

Mathyld: If you were to open my bag, you would find many gems and crystals, neatly tucked into little pouches, as well as other tiny items I consider like talismans – a sterling pendulum, a vial of water I collected in a cave, a black miniature Swiss Army knife my brother gifted me when we were teenagers, as well as a rose-wood knife Thomas Cowgill / King Dude offered me. I instantly feel better knowing that they are with me. I have always been like that.

I gather energy from within the things I can see and feel. The seasons, the elements, the cycle of the Moon… All of these things have a huge impact on our lives and I try my best (not to influence them) but to respect them as I know that they are the forces that feed me.

The sort of Magick that we practice – I do magick with my husband – is very simple. We mostly do protection magick, using candles, resin incenses, gems and organic herbs.

So, when I started crafting jewels, it was necessary for me that they had, not only a visual elegance, but to also infuse them with a meaning and properties.

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I’d love to hear about your most recent collections – the runic amulets and, separately, the handfasting cords? Are new collections inspired a by personal need for such things, or external influences/customer requests?

Some pieces were indeed inspired by bespoke jewels I have crafted. But they were never completely new pieces, rather evolutions. For example, I used to craft any Rune from the Elder Futhark alphabet and Medieval Runes of Healing and Magick. One day, someone asked for a Bind-Rune (a symbol constituted of the association of two or more Runes). I then considered adding this option to my collection.

That being said, in the vast majority, my creations do come from a personal need. Everything started with the urge to find Runic pieces that would be both elegant and discreet. I looked and couldn’t find any and so, decided to create my own. Many a time have I dreamt to visit Scandinavia and wander among the stones, discovering the petroglyphs. I was first fascinated by the runes, then came the symbols and this is how my Petrolgyph collection was born! After daydreaming about these little ships, suns, elks… I decided to bring them « to life » and within a week-end, they were born!

The handfasting cords were also the consequence of a personal need. For our handfasting ceremony in the woods, Jef and I originally planned to use a handspun yarn to which the spinner was going to incorporate some elements we sent them. These consisted of chosen gems and antique-looking charms I crafted and stamped with our favourite runes. However, said embellished yarn got lost in the Post…

At that time, far away from everything and everyone, I had an Epiphany and remembered a gorgeous yarn that my friend Drucilla spun for me many years ago. Off-white with some delicate splashes of very light celadon blue (“Something olde, something new, something borrowed and something blue”) … It just made sense! The night prior to the wedding, we embellished it with our gems and charms. We couldn’t have dreamt of a better cord!

I contacted Drucilla a few months later with this idea in mind. I wanted to offer this option to others. Handfasting echoes with nature, yet beautiful handcrafted cords made of natural materials are so hard to come by!

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Photo by Helena Aguilar Mayans

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Photo by Ellen Rogers

You have worked with some extraordinary creators over the years -photographer Ellen Rogers, and musician King Dude, for example. What was that like? How do these collaborations come about?

I am utterly lucky! (Maybe it’s all this Portable Magick I always carry).

I met Ellen through my best friend, Diane Schuh (an astounding artist herself) and was thrilled that it led to an opportunity for us all to collaborate together.

For King Dude, I once woke up in the middle of the night to find out that Thomas (KD) ordered a Nauthiz Vördr necklace from me. I was ecstatic as I had been following his work for years. When we met, he told me that the necklace already was one of his most precious possessions. I will always treasure that memory. I then asked him if he would be interested into a little collaboration and was blessed by his acceptance.

Finally, new pieces, coming soon, will be inspired by one of my favourite bands.

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Photo by Ampelopsis Photography

What’s your studio like? Do you prefer to create in a private quiet, or do you need some sort of stimuli (conversation, music, maybe a movie playing in the background?)

My bench is antique, made of dark, solid wood. I ​bought it second-hand from a jeweller who was retiring and I renovated it myself. The smell of turpentine oil and wax was intoxicating. My favourite hammer is also made of beautiful wood and belonged to my late father. I have that profound need to surround myself with beautiful, meaningful objects. The scent of resin incense or essential oils often fills the air and candles can be found burning from time to time. My studio is no different than any other room in the flat in the way that dried bouquets are scattered everywhere.

Concerning the soundscape, I definitely couldn’t create in a private quiet. However, it is difficult for me to focus on precision or dangerous tasks – like drilling, soldering, stamping… – while listening to something. I have a very intense reception to music, so most music I like tends to drive me a tad too over excited and sadly, if I try to follow a podcast my mind instantly wanders. So that leaves me with series or films that I have already seen and love. Strangely enough, series seems to work ideally. I usually don’t mind missing details because, if I truly enjoy them, I know that I will watch them again with my husband!

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Photo by Helena Aguila Mayans

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Photo by Helena Aguila Mayans

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Photo by Helena Aguila Mayans

Aryhadne

Photo by Aryhadne

You note that your adornments are inspired by “nature, magick, lost civilisations and times immemorial. mist and forests, ruins and megaliths”. I’d love to hear some more about these passions! Can you give us specific examples to give us a feel for these soul-stirring inspirations? Art, literature, film, places local to where you live?

Reading about folklores and legends is one of my fondest thrills. Ancient civilisations – Native American, Egyptian, Pre-Colombian, Norse, etc – fascinate me and in particular the similarities between symbols found across different cultures. I recently got the chance to re-visit my mother’s breath-taking homeland, the Eastern Townships (Québec, Canada) and New-England. I felt an instant, deep connection. New pieces will be inspired by the history of these lands. I strangely get the same feeling of connection when I visit the UK, especially the Lake District, where the nature is tremendously beautiful. Old English lore is also truly fascinating. Ellen Rogers recently introduced me to a text that already inspired a new piece.

I also tend to get very emotional in museums, whenever I come across a piece that really touches me – usually XIXth century art, Pre-Raphaelite and suitors, Arts & Crafts movement – I start shedding tears. Art has that powerful effect on me.

Film-wise, one of my heroes is Guy Maddin, especially his work in the 90s, very early 2000s. I have admired his work since I saw Careful back in 1996.​ His style, inspired by German Expressionism, his painting over the negatives technique, his surreal yet elegant decors made of paper mache… Everything in his work was responding to questions I never realised I was asking myself.

That said, I also love to travel and discover areas that are closer to me, museums, house museums, caves, ruins, old Castles, churches, parks, etc. Coming from Paris there are indeed many fascinating places to visit. But I try to favour the less known, quieter places.
I recently took my husband to the French Kings & Queens’ Necropolis, in the Basilica of Saint-Denis. The crypt there is painfully eerie. I love house museums, too. There is that little house and garden museum, not far from where I come from that I absolutely adore. XIXth century entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre lived there. All his life he studied nature, collecting insects, shells, plants, minerals… His house is filled with his collections, notebooks and sketches. A personal Natural History Museum nested inside a tiny Provençal house, complete with a quiet, sheltered garden. A true gem!

Not far from my husband’s hometown is a breath-taking cave. One walks through many different caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites of all kinds and even an atoll… One of the most otherworldly experiences I’ve ever encountered.

Brittany is another area that never fails to mesmerise me; the megaliths are glorious, the ocean moody and the nature so very lush…

I am unsure how all of this translates into my work, but some details are rather evident: ​the importance to create everything from scratch, ​symbols from ancient ​civilisations, natural history & antiques collections ​(vials Talismans ​filled with gems and elements found in nature) etc.

I am unsure how all of this translates into my work, but some details are rather evident: ​the importance to create everything from scratch, ​symbols from ancient ​civilisations, natural history & antiques collections ​(vials Talismans ​filled with gems and elements found in nature) etc.

Find Under The Pyramids: shop // instagram // facebook // tumblr

Stacked: May 2018

books

At Haute Macabre this week, all the books we’ve been gorging ourselves on lately! I foresee your summer reading list getting a little out of hand. Here’s a quick link list of each of the books mentioned–plus two that didn’t make the list, but were worth a mention…

Additionally, I read the oft-recommended The Troop, by Nick Cutter. I finished it just before starting The Hunger, and it was an interesting juxtaposition, these two books about insatiable appetites and voracious hungers. The Troop largely takes place on an isolated island where a boy scout troop has taken their annual trip, during which they are stalked by, and exposed to a terrifying biologically-engineered nightmare. Described as “part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later”, this was probably one of the grossest books I have ever read. But it was a lot of fun, too!

Just a few nights ago I finished The Family Plot by Cherie Priest; previously I’d only read Boneshaker and Maplecroft–the former a steampunk type affair and the latter a Lizzie Borden/eldritch horror sort of mash-up, and while both were wildly enjoyably, I felt I hadn’t yet read any proper “spooky” horror from her. The Family Plot a, haunted house tale with southern gothic trappings, volatile family dynamics, and lots of oddly precise details about how to salvage parts and hardware from a beautifully decrepit old home, fits the bit perfectly.

Bonus! I know my book lists consist, predictably, mostly horror and ghosts and spooky stuff. If historical fiction is more your cuppa, might I point you to my darling sister’s picks for the month of May, in her ongoing, monthly, “Brilliance of Books” selection?

More Cringes And Complaints

“What fresh fuckery is this?” by Félix Armand Heullant

I try to hold kindness and compassion in my heart for people and their foibles and foolishness, but you know, sometimes it’s all too much and I have to make a complaint. To whom? I don’t know. I guess it’s sort of an “open letter to the universe” type of thing. I used vent these snarks on Facebook, but I think more people read my facebook posts than my actual blog here and I have to keep up appearances that I’m, you know…a nice person. Which means that I must keep myself in check on the old book of face, and instead, funnel my grievances and gripes over here. I guess it has become a bit of a secret spot for such things. Let’s keep it between us, eh?

Ok, so two things currently driving me nuts…

I am the first person to say, “OH I HATE DRAMA,” but you’d best believe that, when there’s some internet drama going on, especially in the outer rings of my social circles, I am all over that spectacle. My gripe has to do with people who can’t express their drama eloquently, articulately, and with proper punctuation. Your run on sentences take me, as a reader trying to suss out the complexities of narrative and timelines, right out of your epic breakup saga with the person you only met a week ago! I’m over here trying to pay thoughtful attention to your crazed rants and your breathtaking public meltdown, but your tenuous grasp on how written language works is a very real hurdle. Now, I am not trying to be a grammar dictator; I mean, a few missing commas isn’t the end of the world or anything–especially in the heat of the moment when you’re pounding out your desperate diatribe about how everyone’s out to get you, or whatever–but you know you can go back and edit that shit, right? Your Facebook posts are editable, people. YES. They totally are. Don’t leave your misspelled ravings on your facebook wall to haunt me, in perpetuity, as people continue to comment on your mess (probably with unsolicited advice or to call you hateful names) and I continue to receive notifications about it.

Thing number two. The buyers on all these “sell your old stuff” sites like depop or poshmark or tradesy or eBay. They are really kind of awful, and that’s why I no longer sell on these sites. I just can’t deal with their nonsense. They’re either asking you to knock down the price on your $300 piece of jewelry, to like, $7, and I mean…that’s pretty nervy, you know? I would be too embarrassed to even think of asking something like that, but these folks are shameless. And if they’re not trying to get you to sell them something for pennies, they are asking you to hold an item, because maybe they don’t get paid until next week and they don’t want someone to snap it up from underneath them in the meantime. So, you take the listing down, you reach out to the person a week later to get them to pay…and they ignore you repeatedly, and you realize this jerk just wasted your time and potentially cost you some money. And because the community in which you sell the certain items that you have to sell is pretty small, sellers talk amongst themselves, you find out that it’s always the same scammy, scummy people who are trying to talk you down in price or get you to hold items for them and then disappear, or who come back later and say they can’t afford it because grandma died or whatever and it’s like goddamn, how many grandmas you got there? Because your story is starting to sound very familiar (and boring– get a new story, FFS.)
So, no more depop, etc., for me. Thanks a lot, cheapskates and ghosters!

Want some more complaints? I can help with that.
Previously: A List of Reasons For Which I Have Unfollowed People On Facebook 

Ex Libris Group Show At Recspec Gallery

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Tenebrous Kate, Judith 1933

I know I am a little late to the party on this one (how did I not know about this?) but Austin folks, you are in for a treat! Our friends at Recspec Gallery have curated a group show featuring new interpretations of the long-standing tradition of the bookplate. EX LIBRIS is a collection highlighting the work of 22 artists, and will be on display through June 9th, 2018.

Annie Alonzi, Read Books, Get High

Annie Alonzi, Read Books, Get High

Kimberly Kwan, Texas Wildflowers

Kimberly Kwan, Texas Wildflowers

Abi Daniel, Pythonissam

Abi Daniel, Pythonissam

Sleep No More For Anxious People And A Visit To The Met

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At Haute Macabre this week I share my recent, thrilling NYC adventures, featuring a feverish witches’ orgy and that time I tried to buy a Versace exhibit.

Or, more to the point and as promised in the title of this post, I share my thoughts on a trip to Sleep No More and how to navigate this experience as an anxious person, and I also use it as an excuse to share a slew of photos from my visit to The Met’s Heavenly Bodies installation.

Haute Haunts: 24 Hours In NYC

Links Of The Dead {May 2018}

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Featured artwork: Hidden Velvet

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {May 2017} | {May 2016}

💀 What is death? Defining it is more complicated than you think, via mental floss
💀 Being A Marine Taught Me How To Kill But Not How To Handle Death, via lithub
💀 In Japan, a Buddhist Funeral Service for Robot Dogs, via national geographic
💀 Why Beans Were An Ancient Emblem Of Death, via atlas obscura
💀 Playing with death – how the ‘Goodbye-box’ helps children grieve, via death and the maiden
💀 Plan Your Dream Funeral, Ladies! via gemma correll
💀 I’m Getting Married And I Can’t Stop Thinking About Death, via luna luna magazine
💀 Netflix’s ‘End Game’ faces death head-on—and it’s not an easy watch, via the daily dot
💀 Courtney Lane Of Never Forgotten on harnessing the sentiment of hair, via haute macabre
💀 Rebecca Reeves’ Garden Of Grief, via the creeping museum

The Secret Garden

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I found a lovely violet-hued gin this afternoon and would love to make something nice with it, but I’m rather a dud of a mixologist. I’m tempted to concoct a potion with elderflower liqueur and crême de violette and lavender bitters just so I can call it “The Secret Garden”, but something tells me that I am trying to mix in too many things and the end result might not be  verypleasant. Any ideas for me?

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