Kristin Diener, Talismen To The Center Of The Earth

Kristin Diener, Talisman to the Center of the Earth, 2011, sterling silver, fine silver, brass, gold, steel flashing, steel wire, paper, eyeglass parts, synthetic ruby, pearl, hematite, moonstone, blue topaz, Apache tears (obsidian), purple crystal, soapstone, plastic toy, shell buttons, antique button, mica, gold foil, watch crystal, dirt ball, 15 x 6 x 1 in. Photo: Margot Geist

Kristin Diener had a vivid dream one night: “I was traveling through the Earth at lightning speed,” she says, “passing through materials and temperatures of all kinds.” But the whirlwind trip was not frightening. On the contrary, she says, “it was beautiful.” 

To celebrate the dream – and to capture the sense of “well-being, strength, and safety of the experience” – Diener created Talisman to the Center of the Earth. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, artist definitely imagines the piece being worn: “The fact that it is made with the body and wearing in mind is what makes it powerful,” she says. The piece is a full 15 inches long, able to shield vulnerable spots along the torso. 

Diener has a number of talismans in her portfolio. Why is she drawn to making them? “I love creating jewelry and metal-work that operate on many levels, help with navigation and personal growth, and are beautiful in an unusual way,” she says. And talismans – “powerful, full of mystery, and protective” –do it all.