Spring Equinox with Clare
When creating a collection about all the things we love, we simply had to pay homage to all things mystical… Often spotted with her coven under the light of a full moon, the art of English eccentricity is close to Co-Founder Harriet’s heart - and yours… just ask our almost sold-out limited edition Folklore faves!
With the first day of Spring here (at last!), how are we celebrating? Well, it only seemed appropriate to call on long-time Tatty lover and fellow Folklore fanatic, Clare (you might know her as @drasticsurgeon). Fresh from pre-Spring Equinox partying in our go-to green SS23 pieces, join us as we take a peek into the world of Clare from Pagan traditions to original art jewellery.
How did you fall into Druidism?
So you know how it goes, you are living in North London where you have a year of intensive internet dating and finally you match with someone you really click with, but there is an app glitch and although you are both looking for ‘local’ you match with someone who lives 100 miles always from you in the countryside in Hampshire.
“What do you do out there?” you ask and they tell you that they have rituals in the heart of the forest… because they are a druid! So, you ask to come along and before you know it, you’re living a few miles from Stonehenge and you are a Druid too. It’s a tale as old as time!
You should turn that into a book! Tell us more about the world of Druidry…
There are a handful of different orders of Druids across the world/UK – I am a member of OBOD (the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) and am a member of the Sylvan Grove who meet in the New Forest. Druidry is a dogma-free spiritual path and like many folks who follow this I also identify as Pagan. Pagans celebrate the Celtic Wheel of the Year, observing the equinoxes and solstices and midpoints in between with ritual festivals – it’s all about nature; the earth springs to life in spring, grows through summer, harvest in autumn and then death and rebirth over winter.
Sylvan Grove celebrations!
Talking of ritual festivals, Spring Equinox is coming, what are your traditions to celebrate the beginning of spring?
Our Spring Equinox festival is called Alban Eilir, following the old Celtic traditions, which means 'The Light of the Earth'. Spring bulbs should be in full bloom and we plant seeds now to grow through the summer, this ritual symbolises wishes that we want to take root. Now I live back in London, I can’t always make it to rituals in person, but post-pandemic there are now loads of ways to connect with the community via online rituals as well as solo practice
What is your soundtrack to Spring Equinox?
Somewhat predictably I have got into more folk music over the years, I love anything by Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling, Sam Lee (especially Singing with The Nightingales, not just because Nightingale is my surname), I have recently discovered Lisa O’Neill and adore the new Unthank:Smith record.
Expansive magical indie pop feels perfect at this time of year too, Efterklang are a favourite and always always Pulp, ‘Sunrise’ and JARV IS’s ‘Children of the Echo’ feel most apt... “I am the product of all my ancestors, both living and dead.”
Our SS23 Folklore pieces are inspired by English mysticism and magic: why do these pieces call to you?
I have so many of the witchy, mystical pieces from over the years, even from before I discovered paganism & Druidry. Like other Tatty designs, these show the eclectic things I like but they say something about me too. I might be a tiny bit magical, actually, or at the very least, strange and unusual. I have both versions of the Moon Phases necklace, as I’d worn the first one out – those three moon phases are often known as The Triple Goddess, Maiden, Mother, Crone, the stages of womanhood, which I find the most powerfully simple symbolism.
Clare in one of her many Moon Phase Necklaces.
The Folklore Necklace is a collection of so many folk magic symbols, it is the most me thing ever made – it confirms my feeling that Harriet is more than a tiny bit magical and might have seen into my soul when designing this piece. I am OBSESSED with Green Man imagery (and coincidentally also work for Green Man Festival), the mighty oak (I have lots of oak leaves and acorns tattooed on me) sunrise at Stonehenge, straw work and corn dollies and the Cerne Abbas Giant’s wang – it has got it all AND it is green!
Kaleidoscope of Love is centred around colours that make us happy! When we think of green, you immediately come to mind... What does green mean to you?
As an arty kid from an arty family, colour and colour theory in art has always been huge passion of mine, I have had phases of leaning into a few different colours, but greens have always been a favourite. The link with lush verdant nature is obvious but also green can be such a calming colour - my sisters, Mum and I all are so drawn to the same certain shade of teal that we’ve nicknamed it ‘Nighto-green’. I have had many types of green hair now for years and particularly love lush foresty greens, it’s such serious business, my pal Leslie brought some of my favourite hair dye back with her from North America for me, after it was discontinued here in the UK.
We love a throwback, check out our Lifebouy Bracelet from the early 2000’s.
Shoutout to Leslie! As an avid Tatty collector, what was your first piece?
I studied fashion and did work experience as part of my degree around the same time Rosie and Harriet set up Tatty and I was aware of their pieces popping up in the same magazines that the designer I worked for was featured in. When I moved to London after graduating, I would hang around the Soho shop and covet things but I spent all my money going to gigs and going dancing.
The first things I got were from the collaboration with New Look in the early 2000s - I have lost the seagull and ice cream earrings but I still have the Lifebuoy Bracelet. I bought a Volume Knob Brooch shortly after and always regret not buying a contrasting Tone Knob Brooch, as with my sense of humour, I am always lowering the tone.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled for one! Do you have a favourite green piece of Tatty Devine?
I have many green foliage pieces from different collections which are always great and so wearable and I love the peacock feather pieces too as they are jewel-toned and glamorous. I would love to see a full-size luscious green lobster at some point, please. I really think the Folklore has to be my very favourite though, a huge round of applause from this old hippy.
Thank you so much for springing into the equinox with us, Clare… Want to shop Clare’s Folklore faves? Head this way, quick! Our Folklore Statement Necklace is almost sold out!