Recently, I held a survey on TDF’s YouTube channel asking what I could do and add to the channel content-wise to improve the experience. Being only one person, some things can be a bit difficult to do, but with enough planning and execution, pretty much anything, short of a Michael Bay movie (and even then, there are a ton of explosion graphics around the web…), is possible to pull off in some fashion for me. For easy execution and quick turnaround, however, I have stuck with video gaming for a long time, which has somewhat clouded my creative mind to other fandom-related junctures and pursuits. Thus the survey.
One response from the survey intrigued me. It mentioned many fields of fandom expression I had never before considered covering, and one of them was fandom arts and crafts. It was something I marked down alongside the other suggestions, and then quickly got distracted from because of work and life and a number of other things that can be considered excuses.
Then a request came into our email asking for a review on a piece of jewelry (see below). Puzzle piece met puzzle piece and that lightbulb over my head that had so long been settled into a quiet slumber finally recharged with energy.
Being a consumer of several pieces and sets of fandom-related jewelry, I am surprised this particular area of fandom eluded me so long, especially considering the sentimentality nested within. Sure, there are casual consumers, but the crowd these pieces most typically bring in are the people who wish to hold a piece of that treasured story they love and adore with them wherever they go. (Take it from someone whose engagement/wedding ring is Doctor Who-themed.)
A set of TARDIS earrings are not strictly silver decorative studs, but representations of the timey wimey imagination that lies in the head between those earrings; a ‘Sherlocked’ key chain is not just a few letters etched into a plate of metal, but a constant reminder to the bearer that the game is always afoot; and a pentagram and wing on a necklace aren’t simply some pretty things they saw in a shop window, but a feeling of safety and protection embodied in delicate charms.
Take this beautiful piece from Chevy67. This silver confection bears upon its chain a single wing, a pentagram, and a bottle full of rich, blue grace. To a Supernatural devotee, each element of this piece holds deep meaning, and together they are extremely powerful.
The pentagram, while typically given a negative connotation, in this instance represents a trap for evil, a way to identify it, isolate it, and hopefully purge it from ourselves. The wing, an obvious reference to everyone’s favorite angel Castiel, is a continuation of that process, a guardian overseeing oneself. With some help from said guardian, the bottle of grace, the representation of good, can be kept safe and preserved in its tightly corked bottle.
This necklace is a three-part act in itself, representing some of the heaviest trials and tribulations the characters from the show face on a fairly consistent basis. And with this piece around your neck, you’re in essence holding part of their narrative with you close to your heart and sharing it with the outside world.
So I can hear the question already tickling the lips of a few of you: “Aren’t you looking a little too much into this? Can’t jewelry just be jewelry?” Of course, it can. And even with some fandom-frenzied folks, maybe a piece holds no major significance or meaning to them in that regard, which is fine. But consider fandom in general: Fandom derives from a deep love and devotion to something, and with that the underlying emotion and psychology of ourselves. I personally hold in the same regard two vastly different things: the ticket to Doctor Strange I carry in my wallet, a souvenir from my first official date with my fiancé and the start of our great adventure together; and a River Song journal I crafted out of a dusty, disused book for a design class I took in college.
Why do I hold them in the same regard? Because the things they correlate to, my future hubby and Doctor Who are things I truly love and adore. Jewelry is no exception to that for some people. I speak from personal experience on this. My engagement/wedding ring notwithstanding, I wore for several years a replica necklace of the Samulet pendant featured in season 5 of Supernatural. Sure, it’s a neat looking pendant, but I’m not a huge jewelry person overall, for me to almost feel naked without that pendant meant it was something special to me. The way the necklace functions in the show (the pendant becomes hot when God’s presence is near) and the fact that the pendant’s contact with my skin kept it constantly warm made me feel safe and connected with not only a beloved fandom of mine, but my own personal beliefs as well.
To TLDR; this for everyone, for many, it’s not simply a piece of jewelry, but a piece of their fandom, and all of the emotions, feelings, and connections that lie within. And that’s beautiful.
Are you a fandom jewelry or accessory maker? Do you want your work featured in a future TDF video based on this article? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!