A gold vermeil mouth ornament augmented with sea urchin spines (Colobocentrotus atratus).
Sea urchins and their fossils have been used as protective talismans for centuries. They have been found in bronze age burial chambers, were treasured by Egyptian priests, the Norse believed they were dropped onto the Earth by the god Thor, and they were used as charms against drowning up until the 1900’s in certain parts of the British Isles.
With their capacity to inhabit areas with extreme water velocities as well as their sculptural protective spines, they are a testament to the capacities of species to evolve their own forms of resilience and protection.
Mouth jewelry has been worn across continents and throughout all of human history. Labrets, tooth jewelry and lip plates can be found everywhere from the ancient tribes of coastal Alaska, to Mezoamerican civilizations and throughout the African continent. These adornments have ranged from status symbols, to purely aesthetic objects, to ritual pieces meant to signify devotion to certain deities, to objects used to indicate the fierceness of a warrior.
The Urchin Lip Cuff is an attempt to make manifest the strengths of sea urchin species so that we too may use them to our advantage. It is a piece of resolutely modern jewelry that draws inspiration from ancient mouth adornments in a bid to maintain this fascinating tradition.
Please check our size guide to make sure the ring will fit you
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