Saluting Mr. Magpie!

Hello and welcome to my first ever blog post, the first of many and I hope it will leave you inspired…

If you’re familiar with my work you’ll know that I’ve created an entire collection celebrating an infamous creature. When I am asked ‘Why magpies?’ it brings joy to my heart. It is a very good question and one that has a multi-faceted answer.

I love to create intrigue but also always happy to shed light on and share the reasons behind why I celebrate such a bird through my creation of distinctive art jewellery.

So there is the obvious connection. Magpies are renowned for collecting anything that sparkles; jewels, keys and the like. Yes, you’ve guessed it, that’s me, being a jewellery designer I can spend hours swooning over and hand picking gemstones, tell me of a jeweller who doesn’t!

But there is also a story, a folkloric rhyme of superstition that’s as old as the hills and has intrigued me since childhood. A rhyme that was thought to predict the future and fortune of many, that also contains an element of emotive quality that just shouted from the treetops “Please illustrate me!”

Magpie woodcut One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told

(Image: Linocut print by artist Amanda Colville).

So magpies are known to be edgy subversive characters, they get a bit of bad press for being the garden tear away and I can kind of understand why. Nature can be cruel and the magpie a ruthless scavenger. However, I like to look deeper and question existence. Everything has a flip side, a hidden surprise and a reason for being.

As I studied these birds and delved deeper into the folkloric rhyme I discovered not only a striking creature with black and white plumage and contrasting beauty, but also one of immense intelligence and emotive qualities. Magpies are truly fascinating sentient beings that truly do mate for life, which explains the line of the rhyme ‘One for sorrow, two for joy’.

Within my work I like to create a talking point, offer the alternative and challenge perceptions whilst ultimately creating an object of beauty which has ethics at its heart.Magpie necklacesThe outcome here was the creation of ‘Two for Joy’, my signature collection of precious wearable art with narrative that contains an emotive edge celebrating unity and love between two free spirited wild beings.

You can shop the collection hereTwo for joy pieceSo do you find yourself counting magpies? Or does a lonesome Mr. Magpie have you doffing your cap or saluting whilst asking after his wife?

Whether you are superstitious or not, you may just find yourself carrying out (what some might think) this strange behaviour that’s been passed down through the ages, I know I do, that’s folklore for you!

Perhaps you have your own ‘Two for Joy’ love story to tell?
I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Julia Thompson Jewllery

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Recent Comments

  • Sarah McAleer
    10th May 2017 - 1:32 pm · Reply

    Love your post – it so reminds me of my own childhood. We were brought up with a superstitious saying for just about everything. There are always magpies in the garden. We also had the saying ‘one in flight’s worth two in sight!’ But it doesn’t count if you see one and then make it fly off, lol!!! Love the drawing and the collection! Sarah xoxo

  • Andrea
    10th May 2017 - 2:42 pm · Reply

    Well done! I have a huge soft spot for these guys. Like a sophisticated crow 😉 I used to travel to the next province over, (they have magpies but we don’t here) and come back with as many tail feathers as I could find for hats… I so wish I could transport them to my garden. I suppose in my dreams they don’t do any damage though LOL. Great post!

  • Julia Thompson
    10th May 2017 - 2:47 pm · Reply

    Hey Andrea, that is so great to hear, travelling to the next province, that’s dedication! And I love your likening to a sophisticated crow, that’ll be me in a few years time, Ha! X

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