Since prehistoric times, people around the world have erected cairns—stacked mounds of stones—to signify the importance of particular places. Cairns have been used as memorials, landmarks, and trail-markers throughout history. Whenever I come across one, I love thinking about who might have built it, how long it’s been there, and why it might have been created. Cairns feel timeless, often remaining intact through entire eras.
Here I have used stones I collected from beaches all along the west coast to construct cairns of my own. The sterling silver boxes give the earrings structural appeal, and the riveted stones are free to spin in your fingers. Initially, I created the cairn earrings as trail-markers for myself. Whether these earrings will remind you to embark upon a new trail, to find your way home again, or to honor something significant in your life—I hope you enjoy the experience of wearing them.
Note that the colors of the stones will vary from the ones you see here.
Materials: recycled sterling silver, 3-4 stones per earring (depending on size)
Box size: 3/4” x 1/2”
Total height: 1 1/2”
Ear wire backs
April Ottey is a Port Townsend, WA based jewelry artist whose work explores the transformative power of nature. She focuses on the intricate details of the natural world—the architecture, texture, and shape of natural artifacts—in order to draw attention to the beauty surrounding us that we too often overlook.