One of the first films that I have ever fallen in love with was Princess Mononoke. I loved all the underlying messages to care for our forests and animals. Fighting against them, and taking too much from them, also harms us. After I learned that this film was based on a very real place, I loved it even more! And it was the love for this film that inspired me to create fan art in the best way I know. Through my hands and recycled sterling silver.

I worked on this pendant off and on over many months. Some days things just didn’t come easy for me and I had to set it aside. Other days nothing could go wrong and I would work on it until my grumbling stomach made me finally stop. This piece is made from many layers of hand sawn and shaped silver to create an imaginary and wonderful forested world. It is about 2 inches by 2 inches and made from recycled sterling silver with tiny brass and copper “stones”. I created miniature sandbars with greenery and flowers growing from them surrounded by water. Both dead and live ancient trees standing guard around the water, bushes, and little hills where the Kodama hide and play. A glass glow in the dark moon was created by my glass artist daughter, Abigail Castagnaro, really helped this piece feel like a place I would want to live in.

More info: stripedcatmetalworks.com

A piece that was months long in the making. Multiple layers of hand-carved recycled sterling silver and lots of patience

A close up of the Forest God looking up to the star-filled night sky. The scene where we see him take steps on the forest floor and green life spring up around his legs was the inspiration for this moment.

A close up of the little stone surrounded islands made with tiny individually shaped and places copper, silver, and brass “stones”.

I hand fabricated the necklace on this piece as well because it deserved a special chain.

A whole imaginary and whimsical world was fitted into a 2 x 2-inch square piece of silver.

The tiniest of Kodamas sitting on a hilltop watching you!

A close up of the vines wrapped around the tree. Each of these tiny leaves was cut out with my jeweler’s saw, carved to have veins, and then soldered onto the tree one by one.

The moon glows in the dark and is made from glass by my daughter, Abigail Castagnaro