Making the jewellery for the Harry Potter films including: the silver Slytherin snake rings, tie pins and buttons, Luna Lovegood’s Radish earrings, the gold necklace worn by the Fat Lady, Albus Dumbledore’s Silver Cross ring and the Oxidised Silver Textured Pod earrings worn by Malfada Hopkirk, will forever be a 'pinch me' moment in my career.
Last Autumn I began to think more about snake and serpent jewellery. Snakes are symbolic in many cultures and have also been used to add meaning in jewellery design for centuries so it makes sense that JK Rowling would have chosen such a powerful symbol to represent the house of Slytherin.
Coincidentally, just before Christmas my daughter told me that Draco Malfoy had been trending on TikTok with millions of views of clips with the hash tags #draketok and #dracomalfoy – most commonly they are clips from the film woven together with clips of the creator to tell imaginary love stories with the character. Watching a few brought back treasured memories of seeing my work on the big screen being worn by Tom Felton when he played Draco Malfoy. I also consider myself to be a Slytherin!
Founding the House of Slytherin
So let’s take a closer look at the House of Slytherin. The House of Slytherin’s values are ambition, leadership, self-preservation, cunning and resourcefulness. It was founded by Salazar Slytherin in 993 A.D. and as we know Slytherin’s emblematic animal is the serpent. Slytherin’s house colours are emerald green and silver. Salazar Slytherin had an affinity with snakes.
Symbolism & Mythology of Snakes and Serpents
Despite the fact that in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter snakes are strongly associated with the dark arts: "...serpents are often used in the worst kinds of Dark Magic, and are historically associated with evil doers" writes character Rita Skeeter, in many cultures, including ancient Greece, Egypt and indigenous North America, snakes have had a wealth of positive connotations including healing, fertility, rebirth and transformation.
Symbolism of the Slytherin Snakes in Harry Potter
In Christian tradition snakes are often associated with evil and temptation – think back to the snake that used its cunning to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The snake in the story of Adam and Eve also shows ambition which is a very Slytherin trait.
Snakes shed their skin, a characteristic that’s associated with rebirth and renewal. Snakes have been depicted biting their tails to form a never-ending circle that is used to symbolise immortality.
Harry Potter Slytherin Ring
The Harry Potter Slytherin ring has a slightly oversized classically shaped signet ring as its main form. I looked at traditional proportions and sizing for signet rings to get this just right. The Slytherin emblem of a serpent is then added as a bold relief. I blackened some of the details using oxidisation to add to the drama and make the design stand out. The serpent’s mouth is slightly open revealing its pointed teeth – almost as if it is snarling and its tail curls around in a loop hinting at spirals of intrigue and mystery.
I have two collections of Snake Jewellery and more plans underway (if you’d like to be the first to hear about my new snake designs you can sign up for my monthly emails here).
Snake Eye Collection
My Snake Eye collection features ovals - each snake eye oval is textured with my signature light-catching bobble pattern and finished with a single circle in the centre - reminiscent of the haunting eye of a serpent. In jewellery design the snake is a symbol of life force, creation and transformation. The collection consists of: Snake Eye Cufflinks, Snake Eye Trio Ring, Snake Eye Stud Earrings and Stake Eye Stacking ring - you can view the whole collection here.
My Snake Collection features a Snake Necklace, Snake Earring and T-bar Cufflinks. I’ve always thought of the Slytherin serpent from Harry Potter as a cross between a snake and a dragon.
I explored this further in this design and created an emblem which was a cross between a Slytherin Snake and a Flobberworn – also from Harry Potter. A Flobberworm is another fantastical beast – it’s a ten-inch-long herbivore.
While you’re here you might also like to take a look at my Textured Pod Drop earrings which were worn by Hermione Granger and Malfada Hopkirk in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.
IF YOU ENJOYED DISCOVERING THE STORY OF THE HARRY POTTER SLYTHERIN RING, WHY NOT PIN IT TO YOUR INSPO BOARDS