Looking for deathly jewellery and pins for all the family?


pennyThen look no further! I recently commissioned some pieces from the wonderful Alison Atkin, the lady behind Penny Darlings, and I wanted to write a small review as I have been completely delighted with the results.

I found Alison through talking about Death Salon UK on Twitter. She is currently an osteoarchaeology doctoral researcher and also runs the brilliant Deathsplanation blog where she talks about all things death! I followed Alison on Twitter because she is not only into deathly things but is also majorly involved in science communication and outreach, an area that I am also passionate about and have done a lot of work in in my last job as a polar librarian.

However, it wasn’t until I overheard a conversation on Twitter between Alison and the brilliant Ben Garrod (presenter of the recently excellent BBC series ‘Secrets of Bones’) about how he wore a piece made by Alison on one of his episodes. This immediately intrigued me and so I did some digging and found Penny Darlings!

I immediately loved everything that Alison has up for sale. From tiny skeleton pins to larger pendants, her work is meticulous, detailed and beautifully put together. I knew I had to buy something from her and I thought I would commission some pieces as I had been hunting for some particular items for a while and never seemed to find anything that was quite right.

So, I asked Alison to make me a crow skull pendant as I love corvids and have never been able to find the right sort of necklace version of one. I sent her some images for reference and she made something quite beautiful. I also asked for a Ouija planchette necklace, because even though I know the Ouija board is nothing more than a novelty parlour game, I do like its associations with the occult and Victorian seances, both things that fascinate me. We exchanged ideas via email, Alison sketched up some examples and we worked together to get the final design that I wanted.

I also spotted a hero shrew pin on Alison’s list of items for sale and I asked if she could make a tree shrew for me instead as Ryan (who writes Deathly Ponderings with me) loves them. Alison did not disappoint and the detail on the tiny skeleton is breathtaking.

Alison turned around the designs really quickly, especially as they were new designs, and I received my packages yesterday. Each item was individually packed in a tiny envelope with the name of the animal or item written on the front with a delightful wax seal. I love my two necklaces and Ryan is thrilled with his tree shrew.

photoAlison has had her work featured by people wearing her pieces in the media and in other places, one excellent example being the wonderful Carla Valentine who wore Alison’s Abracadabra necklace in her interview photograph with the Independent when talking about Death Salon UK.

This is not a promotional post. Alison has not asked me to write this post, but I wanted to because I think her work is beautiful (and supporting independent artists is a good thing!) and you should all go and buy something from her or get in touch if you want something a bit more personal through her commissions option.

Image credits: Screenshot of Penny Darlings (Copyright Alison Atkin);
Penny Darlings jewellery image by Georgina (Designed by Alison Atkin)