So what has a black cat to do with jewellery design. Well, my cat Gráinne Mhaol (named after the Irish Pirate Queen) hangs out in the studio while I am working.
Sometimes, she strolls up and takes a casual look at a new design. Other times, she sits and stares as if her thoughts are in another world far away from here.
Black cats are referenced in folklore, mythology and superstition in many cultures. They hold a particular place in Celtic mythology and were considered to be guardians of the gate to the Otherworld. They were seen as magical, mysterious animals who never revealed their secret or knowledge.
They were therefore looked on with suspicion, mystery, reference, and respect. In Irish and Scottish folklore, the Cait Sidhe, a fairy or spirit creature taking on the form of a black cat with a white spot on its chest, was feared for its power to curse those who did not treat it with due respect.
At Samhain (Halloween) a saucer of milk was put outside the house for the Cait Sidhe, as otherwise it was believed a curse could be put on domestic animals.
This lead to the association of black cats with evil, witches and curses.
Gráinne has only brought me luck since she first came into my life. But she is mysterious and sometimes when she sits and stares, I can't help but wonder if she is at that gate peering into the Otherworld.