I have, however, gotten interested in ammonite (or other fossil) spindles. Ammonites, if you’re not familiar with them, are extinct relatives of the nautilus–flat spiraled shells. They’re common fossils–a pair of small ones will cost you about $10–and very beautiful, often with tiny crystals in the chambers. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonite for more info on ammonites.)
Anyway, they appeal to me because the spiral is a symbol of life in Wicca, so small, round spirals are nicely symbolic. They’re also small, pretty, almost-round fossils, which (potentially) makes them good for spindles. They’re pretty seriously unbalanced, because the end of the spiral weighs way more than the other end, but I’m playing around with pewter and silver, hoping to find a way to balance it out. It will be very tricky, but I think I can manage it.
I bought two ammonites, one of which has this lovely semitranslucent, glimmery, silver-gray-brown crystal on the inside, and one of which is mostly brown and golds, embedded in sandstone. I had planned to use the brown one mostly as a “tester” for the crystal one, but decided to clean it off before monkeying it–and wow!! after I got it out of the muddy, clayey rock clinging to it, it’s beautiful! The mother-of-pearl shell has been beautifully preserved and so it has a lovely opalescent iridescence around the outer shell. I think I’m going to use it with the mother-of-pearl side up, and counterbalance it with a setting of either pewter or silver, with inset opals. That should bring up the iridescence nicely and produce a very pretty piece. IF I can figure out how to do it, that is. It’s NOT going to be easy, if it’s do-able at all.
I’m thinking vaguely about trying other kinds of fossils in spindle whorls–small fossil shells, maybe a leaf or something, haven’t really thought it through. I think it would be very difficult to get a balanced spindle (even if you cast everything in plastic, which is what I’d probably do), but it might be a fun thought-experiment. Also a good excuse to play around with plastic-casting. 🙂