Recently I attended my first-ever Renaissance festival. 'It was a hearty time with plenty of grog and mead, sturdy lads and fiery lasses, bouts of jousting to rattle your loins with feasts, beasts and performance to free you from your coins.'
Okay, I'll stop. Hey, shut up, so I'm no Tolkien alright?
Along with good friends, two of my sons and I rumbled out into the desert hills in Phoenix' East Valley and I dare say a good time was had by all.
The Viking Code
Amongst the many stores, shoppes, and concession stands, I chanced upon the fair storefront of Gryphon Song Gems, the collection of the hand carved, hand-crafted Celtic carved gems & jewelry of master craftsman and jeweler, Epaul Fischer. A calm, unassuming man who loves what he does and is damn good at it.
In his pavilion, you will be dazzled by a breathtaking array of carvings in gems, precious metals and custom Celtic jewelry. One piece caught my eye. A beautiful Viking-influenced design bearing the interlocking heads of a boar, an eagle and a wolf.
The price was beyond me but I took his info and promised to look online. When I left, little did I know, things got interesting.
Later in the day, his assistant (a good friend of mine I have known for year and watched grow up alongside my own children) presented me with a gift at another event.
Epaul had gifted the pendant to me. He told her that when he carves a piece, he knows that each piece belongs to someone but often does NOT know who that person is until they make themselves known.
For this pendant, that person was me.
I was floored. I couldn't accept this extravagant gift. I took it and went back to his pavilion. I thanked him and told him it was a beautiful gesture but that I could only take it to pay for it. At first he refused but I told him something I believe as deeply as any conviction I've ever held:
Artists and creative people must share their art with others. We are duty bound as writers, designers, painters, photographers, Illustrators, textile pros, craftsman, singers, performers to support each other in our specified skilled vocations. By word of mouth, by our participation and by our patronage.
So I purchased the pendant, at a portion of it's value (the rare stone it is carved into alone commands a certain price). You can see it and hundreds of other designs and custom carved jewelry here.
Thank you Epaul. I will always cherish my pendant and will do my share to always promote such excellent work.