SIGNET OF THE TIMES

270 Signet of the Times

(I’m back, friends!)

Ever since publishing my last post, I felt reinvigorated – enough to consider what the next post was going to be about. And it came to me quite simply (they have only been on my mind for the longest time)… Signet rings!

The history of signet rings (how they came to be, basically) is what is most interesting to me. Back in the olden days, illustrious folk used to seal important documents and maybe, secret letters (each) with a glob of sealing wax that was impressed upon with their coat of arms. I don’t quite know if typically, it used to be first, a stamp (with the wooden handle) and then later was turned into something convenient, i.e. having the seal set within the bezel of your ring (it would have been easier to have your stamping ring on you at all times). (Speaking of which, I have been longing to make my own sealing wax kit!)

To have your own trademark in the form of a seal is very exciting to me, and from what I have deduced, people usually opted to create motifs that are only theirs, much like a logo that forms the signet. Maybe a fleur-de-lis or rose combined with perhaps their monogram or something else representational like an animal, object or ornament etc. These motifs tell you about the individual, what they stood for or were associated with; which is perhaps why it may have been restricted to certain sects of people (kind of sad because I am a common woman and had I been born then, I would certainly have loved to have the means to forge a crest as part of my legacy).

Getting to the jewellery bit (sorry it took forever) – I do have quite the thing for antique and heirloom pieces, could you tell? Signet rings are exquisite to have and hold; of course, in today’s day and age, it might not be the simplest to get your own such ring made (it would be fairly expensive, for one)… Even so, here are a few I spotted on the interwebz that left a lasting impression on me (see what I did there, heh):

Cosma Signet Ring, KATKIM – $990

Femme Ring, Wolf Circus – $140

Giulia Ring, CINCO – €45

Grande Dame Signet Ring, Maison Mayle – $250

Morena Saint Ring, Five and Two –  Rs. 3,039.71

Signet Ronde Gold, MIMI ET TOI – €80.00

Slim Signet Ring, Ariel Gordon – $450

Wyatt Signet, Merewif – $66

Closer to home, I’ve spotted one on Sreesha’s website, SHOP LUNE and something kinda sorta like a signet ring on KICHU (I mean, the signet ring has Egyptian roots and this could very well pass off as one!). I also have a ring from Forever 21 (not pictured here). I bought it a few years ago, and I love the almost arabesque inscription; it is even better that the signet opens up (like a locket) to reveal an embossed symbol of a Roman cross. I’ve been wearing it a lot, recently; I’ve come to think of it as my very own Papal ring (ha)!

P.S. This post has been exceptionally long but if you’re still here and reading, I should tell you that year’s Met Gala theme, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination contributed further to my thinking about heirloom-like, almost Victorian fashions. I would have loved to see close-ups of anyone wearing signet rings at the event but sadly, when I was researching for this piece, I didn’t find any. Should you have any information, I beseech you to share it in the comments below! (In order of their appearance, the picture credits are as follows: Wolf Circus, FINE LIFE CO, Marko MacPherson, LUV AJ, The Deeps, Merewif, HONESTLY WTF, Merewif.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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THE LIGHT IS COMING

269 The Light Is Coming

Or is it not… Did the light take a cosmic detour? 

Hey, hey, so, I’ve been away. – Oh, and this is a picture I took (of my reflection in a floor-length mirror at Cinnamon in Bangalore) on my 31st birthday, etc. I know it is unusual to share pictures of myself on my blog but I thought, Hey, why not? (It was a lovely day, and I liked my outfit.) I don’t usually photograph well and hate posting pictures of myself on a public forum unless I have taken the picture (and think it looks fine) or yeah… I know, so finicky and weird. Well, that’s me in a nutshell for you! (Nothing alluring/inviting, there.)

So back to the topic at hand, I thought I’d drop some gems (much like in the photograph)! Or maybe just tell you what has been going on, which is, basically, nothing. I am still looking for a job, so there is that. May has been complete mayhem to say the least, I have never before felt the depth of emotions so destructive and distressing, as I did, last month. How’d I escape its confining clutches? (I tried.) There was a two-hour DMT (Dance/Movement Therapy) workshop and a spooky story-telling sesh that I attended (on different days); I met some friends (Ashwita and Krutika) and worked on a mini-series called #mermay (just for kicks, or uh, fins), etc.

What I’m hoping is that June is better. That I can finally get somewhere, be doing something (I promise to pay it forward). I’ve been in the same place for so long, and everyone, everything is just passing me by. Adding to the overall despondency of this post; I had a few bad depressive episodes this month and do you know what’s even sadder? I don’t have enough to see a counsellor on a regular basis or anything (don’t worry; there is something else that could perhaps work out). Anyway, I know they say that it gets worse before it gets better… So, I definitely won’t stop trying. (Please don’t be laughing at me, I’d cry harder if you were to. All the best, ¡mis amigos! May June bring out your compassion and courage, confidence and creativity… I wish you the warmest of viiiiibes.)

(Should you be interested, the marigold-themed silk blouse is from H&M – it was a gift from my mother and my jeans are the 711 Skinny from Levi’s; I wore Minila’s gold Kolhapuri chappals on my feet, a beautiful coral reef necklace from SHOP LUNE on my neck, hoop earrings from H&M in my ears, and a new watch on my wrist (my friend Magali helped me snag this babe from Casio at an excellent price!). 

P.S. Look, don’t get me wrong… I know I rarely get into a super sad mood here on the blog, and that too, on the first day of the month! But know this, I’m always forthcoming on here, and I couldn’t pretend things were better. I mean, yeah, there’s so much to be thankful for. Even so, I do feel emotionally/mentally drained. I’d like to have done something. I’d like to be seen as worthy; only I am not and I feel like I am the human equivalent of the song Fix You by Coldplay. I mean, it’s utterly desperate but kinda hopeful too. That is what I am, right now. Hoping against hope, as Ogden Nash once wrote. (Okay, that brought a smile to my face; it was a crazy poem, wasn’t it?)

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

THE WRITING ON THE WALL

It has been what? – one week into December, and Christmas already is so close. Should you need to know… Christmas began early for me, this year; it has been feeling like the festive season from November onwards (never mind that the Christmas spirit has momentarily abandoned me now that December is actually here but oh, well).

And oh, hello to you too. (Explaining more, below.)

#FacesintheTwitteringCrowd

This is a project inspired by the #visiblewomen I know on and off the interwebz. I titled it so because I figured that some of you enjoy your online presence (thanks, social media platforms) and perhaps might like to have an illustrated profile of yourself for personal or professional use. (If not for yourself, you could perhaps ‘gift’ this wee, intangible summat to someone you reeeeeally like/love; heh, you know ’cause… Christmas.) Personally, this project is for me to: hone my craft; make money (being a freelancer and lover of learning has its perils); and make a fun project out of.

Basically, I can render an illustrative likeness of yourself in the form of a JPEG/PNG illustration (I will even make a portrait of your prized pet, should you like); this, I will base on a photograph of yours (preferably vertical) and 3-6 questions that I would be asking you (your most worn colours/motifs etc.). To get ideas on how your likeness might be rendered, please see the poster I made for this series or check out the women I drew back in March-April of this year, etc. (The pricing details are in the poster; payments can be made to me – electronically and I make and deliver the illustration to your Inbox in 3-6 working days.)

Thank you for hearing me out! – This is something new I am trying and should you like my work and are keen to do business with me, I would be pleased to hear from you (by way of a comment or an e-mail).

P.S. The one-off chance that you are new here or have come upon this solitary post, an introduction might not be out of order. My name is Roanna Fernandes; I am a features writer and illustrator who lives in Bombay. I have had this blog for about seven years now; it has served me well as a platform to express myself, artistically  and gotten me a few illustrative assignments, etc.  Uh-huh, here’s the ‘however’: I have been harbouring doubts/thoughts about why this space continues to exist. After months of staying away though, I found myself back in the place where it all began yet I feel a lightness of brain. (At this point, my brain interjects with, “A feeble yay is better than none in the head.” Gee, thanks, Brainah, what would I do without you?  That more than you needed to know?

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

BENEATH A DESERT MOON

¡Hola, mis amigos! (I don’t always greet y’all, maybe I should? I just get into the thick and thin of it and that’s kinda rude, innit? I mean, I care because you’re reading which is really sweet because it’s me, and you know, you’re still here – you guys make up a handful, and you make me happy.)

Because I was so incognito back then, you would’ve missed this – this year, I created/made up themes for every couple of months in the year (I divided my year into four parts, and not quarters). Each period was to tell a story by way of the content I would be covering and sharing on my blog etc. Except you know that it didn’t work out that way, I wasn’t actively working on any material; the ideas, of course, piled on and on and you know what went down. Nothing!

SO. What the illustration for this post is meant to be is an introduction to the story I wished to tell during the months of May, June and July called…

The Song of the Seamstress

As one could tell, the drawings are inspired by Mexico (a country I have never been to – but am really keen on visiting, soon) – the colours and clothing; some desert cactuses; the marigolds and roses; the ofrendas and sugar skulls etc.  The Song of the Seamstress also drew colourful and cultural inspirations from: cameo pendants; dulce de leche; floral embroidery; Frida Kahlo; la combinación de naranja y rosa; Lisbon (I really like this city; it’s colourful and so very warm – it makes me think of Cuba, Goa and Mexico, all at once!); Mother Mary; Pablo Neruda; ruffled clothing; the Día de los Muertos festival; Ugly Betty etc.

P.S. (Would you get a better idea if you saw this? It forms the display picture and cover photo for when I did publish this theme on Facebook and Twitter etc.) – This might be continued in the posts that are to come but it’s also December and so, I will be covering some other *fun* material (I haz ideas)! We’ll see.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes