Wednesday, April 13, 2016


I have long been fascinated by cicadas. As a kid growing up in the south I would collect cicada shells along with my brother every summer. The cicada songs would fill the air on hot August nights. Perhaps the most well-known species, called the 17-year cicada, lays its eggs underground and they remain there for 17 years before hatching. When they emerge they often come out all at once in dramatic numbers.  Some people think they are pests, but they are harmless to humans. The 17-year cicada is common in the United States, however, there are many other species of cicada around the world.

Cast bronze cicada pendant with articulated hand-pierced silver wings.

I love the symbolism of the cicada as well. The cicada symbolizes transformation, as it undergoes metamorphosis changing from a crawling insect into a flying one with translucent wings.  In China the cicada has for centuries been a symbol of eternal life.  In ancient China, when a person died a cicada would be place in their mouth to grant them eternal life.  In France the cicada is the symbol for Provence. Vases or wall sculptures in the form of the cicada were often given as a house-warming gift.  I have a collection of cicada brooches from 1920's France.  One of the brooches was incorporated in the the necklace below.

Antique bakelite cicada set in a hand-made sterling silver setting with kyanite.