Theft of Light…OCCULTER

OCCULTER is a project by Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons, the brainchild of NYC-based artist Derrick Cruz. Cruz combines art and commerce in his jewelry, books and sculpture. He brings a fascination for funerary crafts, alchemical studies and First Nations mythology to his works, fusing these three elements in his handcrafted and inspired pieces. His Splinter series features earrings, a ring and a pendant cast from splinters from New York’s heritage buildings – the ring and earrings are early 1900s wood beam splinters from a Rivington Street building, and the pendant is a splinter taken from a century-old Lower East Side synagogue. Cruz ventures into the strange and wonderful with his horsehair necklaces and bracelets from his Theft of Light collection, which are immaculately braided and thick and glossy, reminiscent of Victorian hair memento jewelry. His Monolith collection features pendants that are inspired by nature’s patterns that are carved by wind and sea into rock, sand and glacier. These pendants have a dark beauty to them that I find really compelling – maybe it’s the aesthetic of erosion, a kind of decay. Cruz also offers up a cast human jaw in solid bronze coated in 24 K gold…and let me just put this on the record – anyone who buys this to grind their cigarette butts into has justly earned my hatred. OCCULTER has a depth of inspiration that is difficult to find in “dark” jewelry, which can so often fall into the skull and bones rut. It’s refreshing to see the different perspective and breadth of research brought by Cruz to his creations. After the jump, check out some of my favorite pieces from OCCULTER…

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The Author



Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.