The footprint appears as an iconographic image throughout Asia in both Hinduism and Buddhism. It is said that at his birth, the Buddha measured out the universe by taking seven steps in each of the quarters of space; Vishnu did the same thing with three great strides that corresponded to the Earth, to the intermediate world, and to heaven. The iconic footprint is unique to each region, and the iconography varies, but it can be generalized to represent the divine presence or visitation of what is transcendent, and its form impressed upon the universe. Our feet are what support us in life and the footprint signifies the divine path that we choose to take here on earth. It is a marker and talisman of the desire to seek an enlightened practice and to follow the intricate and divine path that guides and renews ourselves and others - the highest and sweetest form of awareness.
A simple search will lead you to the many aspects within its multitude of different symbolic manifestations, such as the images of the firmament found on the Indian version from which I created the one here: the great wheel, the conch shell, the fish, the club, the lingam , the yoni, the lotus, and the banner.
With proper care, this hand cast, sterling silver pendant is a durable lifelong (if not heirloom) piece. It is a substantial weight and approximately 2mm thick. It measures 2" long by 1/2" wide. With a 3.1 mm heavy round cable chain, and simple toggle, this piece is suitable for men and women alike, and everyone in-between, on the continuum. The standard chain length that I offer measures approximately 17.5" end to end, and has a hand-cast, simple heavy toggle. Additional length may be added for $5. per inch. If a different style or size chain is desired I am happy to work with you, the price dependent upon the length and cost of your request. Gold is available as a special order, and the price will be determined by the current market at the time of your order. Several versions are available: 1)the simple foot on a chain, (2) one with an etched lotus flower hung above the foot, or (3)with a thirteen spoked wheel, the design of which resulted from a sliced cross section of a poppy seed head. Both are set with stones that are approximately 7-8mm round, or the pieces may be customized for a slightly larger or different shaped stone. Ready made versions of either are normally available for purchase, or you may special order a stone and setting of your choice. Each piece, whether custom order, or in stock, is priced according to the cost of the stone, and its setting. Please feel free to contact me with your questions, ideas, and requests. I love doing special orders, and all inquiries are welcome.
Like anything one wears, or all things for that matter, it benefits from loving attention. Maintenance is achieved almost effortlessly with the use of a polishing cloth, that is included with your purchase. Pass over the surface of the foot, or chain and toggles, with the cloth, to maintain the bright surface that is in contrast to the recessed, oxidized background. Take care to avoid tugging on parts by placing the part to be polished in the palm of your hand, then press down to polish, and rub brusquely. It will brighten up immediately, ready to wear.
A friend and customer, Jennifer Saliture, wore one foot for almost 20 years. Later, she purchased a more elaborate customized version, with a lotus flower setting and heart shaped ruby, and gave her original necklace to her sister as a birthday gift. It is more evidence that I make all of my work with a great mind for its durability and longevity. With proper care, your foot will provide a lifetime of enjoyment, ready to move on to the next generation.
I created this piece by, first, rendering a drawing based upon a repoussé footprint of Vishnu made by a craftsman in India, an image of which I discovered in a book. It is represented in the images shown above. Repoussé is a technique of hammering and articulating metal to create patterns and imagery on its surface.
I took my drawing of it to an engraving company that reduced it to the desired size and then projected it onto a magnesium plate with a photo-sensitive emulsion. The emulsion protected the lines of the drawing from the acid etch, while the timed placement in the acid bath removed, partially, the remaining surface. After multiple attempts over many years I arrived at what you see here where I was finally content with the clarity achieved between the effects of the etch, the width of the lines and the graphic details of the design. Following the etching process the next step is to pierce the etched relief out of the magnesium plate with a saw blade. I added sprues and gates to facilitate the injected wax entering the silicone mold of it, which results in a replica of the magnesium foot with the added sprues. Sprues and gates facilitate the wax, as well as the metal during the lost wax casting process to enter the mold. Before I molded it, I embellished the back of the magnesium prototype with a paisley like surface/texture in wax , and added my logo and makers marks. I made a silicone mold of it for injection with wax that results in an identical wax copy of the magnesium etching. Each injected wax copy is then invested in plaster, after which it is burned out in an oven. The wax flows out of the mold and leaves a cavity that the molten metal enters and fills during the casting process. This is known as lost wax casting. Once cast, the metal casting is removed from the investment, pickled to remove oxides, then finished/polished, and, finally, oxidized to highlight the detail. The last step is to attach the chain and clasp, and wallah! It's ready to be worn and enjoyed!
Enjoy your footprint!