Handcrafted Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

Kelley Cross

Discovering Ancient Egypt and her Secrets

Hello, my name is Kelley Cross. This is my small, yet burgeoning company Wedjoyet. Since I can remember, I’ve held an absolute fascination, and most likely something more akin to obsession, with Ancient Egypt, her culture and her history. 

Through the years I’ve enjoyed pouring over the extant texts that have survived and come down to us from Egypt’s Dynasties. The Pyramid and Coffin texts with their intricate and fascinating spells and narratives of Egypt’s Mythologies, and of course The Book of The Dead, along with other copious writings. It can be fascinating to draw correlations between the Mythologies of Egypt and Greece, and ultimately Rome, and to observe how the original Egyptian stories, motifs and icons weave their way into the mythological fabric of subsequent cultures. For instance, the Egyptian Goddess Hathor becomes Aphrodite and eventually Venus; in fact practically the entire Egyptian pantheon establishes correlations in both Greek and Roman mythology.

His daughter, the Goddess Wedjoyet (later Athena), will become an icon of wisdom, courage, inspiration, strength and protection.”

As such, we can certainly trace the lineage of classical Mythology back to Egyptian origins... as the first creator God Amun-Ra emerges from the dark primordial waters of Nun to create earth and sky, and give the breath of life to all living things. Much later he will become Zeus, and later still, Jupiter. His daughter, the Goddess Wedjoyet (later Athena), will become an icon of wisdom, courage, inspiration, strength and protection. Her symbol will be the “Egyptian Eye”, ubiquitous in inscription and painting on walls within tombs, temples and palaces, and known as the Wedjat. So how and why does this ancient pantheon and its narratives originating some 4,000 years before Christ resonate through millennia?

Faience Wedjat Icon of Egyptian Goddess Wedjoyet

I believe one ostensible answer lies within the very heart of the Ancient Egyptian, believed to be both the origin of feeling and thought. And in her heart she held an understanding that human existence played only a tiny part of an eternal journey facilitated by the Gods. This does not mean her life was simply a test of virtue to enter a more glorious afterlife. In fact, to her the afterlife was simply an extension of her existence on earth; a continuation of her journey. Yet she needed to live life well and in harmony to enjoy and continue on that journey.

And it was the resonance of this spiritual understanding that was made manifest in the form of Faience jewelry along with amulets in effigy to the Gods; the faience itself being a symbol of rebirth and immortality. "Dazzling... that which is brilliant or scintillating like the light of the sun, or the moon, or the stars, gleaming and lustrous with the brilliance of immortality.” This is the definition the Ancient Egyptian’s held for their word tjehnet... a word we know as Faience. To the entire ancient world, the Faience amulets, vessels and jewelry created by the skilled hands of Egyptian artisans glistened and shimmered with a light that came to represent birth, rebirth and eternal life.

18th Dynasty faience necklace given as offering to the goddess Hathor

The design of these beautiful pieces would symbolize a way of life devoid of rules and judgement; but in its place, a devotion to the Goddess Maat; representing the principles, ethics and morals the Egyptian was expected to follow; to live one’s life with honor, truth, fairness and love. This was one’s choice, rather than an obligation of submission to dogma brought on by authority yoked with the threat of punishment and damnation if not followed without question. To my thought, this is probably the single most fascinating aspect of ancient Egyptian culture.

To this end, inspiration struck to create and launch a line of faience jewelry. I knew I did not want to merely make museum replica, but rather an interpretation, and ultimately an expression, of the extant motifs and designs and precepts of Egyptian mythology, and more specifically her spirituality. Drawing upon decades of experience as a designer and sculptor, I created this initial launch of necklaces. Happily, this current collection is perpetually expanding in color and design, along with a soon to launch addition of bracelets, anklets, rings and the like. Thank you for visiting and taking a peek at my work perennially in progress. I hope you find a fraction of the joy in these pieces I’ve experienced in making them.