Bixby’s Beautiful Bottles
Since earliest times, sacred vessels have been integral parts of spiritual ceremonies and rituals — holding purified oils, scented herbs, and even presumed magical potions. Over time, the uses of these bottles and jars have extended beyond serving as containers for special powders and liquids. Now, they carry their own spiritual significance, representing a variety of personal meanings.
Jewelry artist Barbara Bixby has created a series of ornamental vessels designed to symbolize these deeper meanings and to represent their many ceremonial uses. Wish bottles, incense burners, scent bottles, teapots, and amphora have been ritual objects since ancient times. Whether you use them for perfume, to hold a meaningful fragment, or simply as beautiful objects, there is something intriguing and mysterious about these bejeweled creations.
Pink Swirl Wish Bottle
Peacock Wish Bottles
Couture Enamel Urn
Vessels Created for QVC
Barbara Bixby has created a number of vessel pieces for her QVC collections:
All-Metal Wish Bottle: This amphora-shaped vessel is part of the Cinqueterra collection, inspired by a visit to Tuscany, where Barbara saw many beautiful urns made of stone and other materials. Bottles are containers holding mysteries within their secret inner spaces. This bottle symbolizes the existence of these mysteries and the unlocking of them. Bottles and vessels hold a similar symbolism to that of a cave.
Caravan Vessel Earrings: Barbara has this to say about the Caravan Vessel earrings she created for QVC: The idea for this earring came from Tibetan incense holders that we purchased in Europe. These intricately designed containers are used to carry incense sticks while traveling. The design is very three-dimensional. The carving is executed all the way around the earring, and an 18K gold flower rests on the front of the shepherd’s hook.
Incense Burner Earrings: Incense burners, or censing baskets, were used to burn aromatic plants , to scent clothing and bedclothes, even to eradicate insects! According to Barbara Bixby, incense helps generate an aura of peacefulness that helps us reach for the divine. The amethyst used in these earrings was selected because of its spiritual qualities and for its use as a meditation stone.About these earrings, Ms. Bixby comments, “My husband, Frank, and I collect incense burners from around the world, and these earrings were inspired by one from Tibet that hangs from a beam in our home. Incense has been used in spiritual ceremonies, in nearly all cultures, for thousands of years.”
Eastern Time Teapot Charm: Tea drinking is an extremely old custom embraced by many Eastern and Western cultures and it has always been accompanied by special rituals and accoutrements. Originating in China thousands of years ago, tea drinking and its associated ceremonies became a part of Japanese culture in about the 9th century A.D. Early use of tea was medicinal. However, tea — and the tea ceremony — soon transformed into a religious and philosophical experience. It became a means to embrace tranquility and peace and a way of striving for a higher plane.This lavender enamel teapot charm is part of the Eastern Time collection Barbara created for QVC. It serves as a reminder of our striving for deeper spirituality and grace.
QVC Enamel Wish Bottle: This elegant little wish bottle was inspired by the more elaborate vessel Ms. Bixby created for her couture collection and designed to contain the ashes of her beloved dog. This is meant as a wish bottle — a repository for one’s hopes and dreams and a focal point for one’s secret desires. It doesn’t open, so is not a functional bottle. Three citrines, one surrounded in gold, form a line across the center of the bottle. Citrine is said to stimulate the mind and help us turn our dreams into reality. Blue topaz, used in the “lid,” is believed to help balance mind, body, and spirit.