Design Stories – The Kelpie
In our opinion, Kelpie necklaces should always be silver. It’s not just the way they look, or the fact that the sheen of the metal makes you think of the flow of water. It’s just that silver necklaces are part of the Kelpie’s myth.
Our story is of a young girl who met a handsome and seductive young man while walking on the beach. There was something melancholy about this man, with his dark sunken eyes and his wild tousled hair. When she grew close enough to see him properly, and without exchanging a word, she fell helplessly in love. The young man took her in his arms, and demanded she pledge herself to him, for now and always. She could not, she told him, as her obedience was pledged to her father, and only he could release her.
The young man grew angry at first, but then softened and caressed her with charm and lies, and told her he must take her away from this beach and from the life she knew, to be with him. Again, her heart broke to refuse him, but she did refuse. Her beau became incensed once more, but calmed himself and said,
“Fine, if your father must release you, then we will speak with your father.”
The girl led him to her home, and introduced him to her father as the man who would take her away to marry. The young man used sweet words from a honeyed tongue, but the father would not be swayed. They talked long into the night, and the father offered the stranger the floor of his stable to sleep on, so they could resume their conversation in the morning.
The girl, obviously, could not sleep. Her heart seemed to pull at her, aching to be separated from this suitor she had only just met. After an hour of tossing and turning in her bed, she crept to the stable, to just look upon him and be satisfied. But, when she swung the lamplight over his sleeping form, she saw the silver chain around his neck and the glamour he had cast upon her was instantly broken.
Although the Kelpie is portrayed as a horse, it was actually a shape shifter. It was also a trickster and a rogue. The only way to tell one from a regular horse was by its constantly dripping mane. However, the source of its power was its bridle, which would transform into a silver necklace when the creature took human form. One look at the chain around this man’s neck, and the young girl knew she was staring at the Kelpie’s Bridle.
She snatched the chain from around his neck, and he was instantly transformed into his horse form. She led him to a stall in the stable and tied him there. And when her father woke in the morning, he had another horse to pull his plough. As for the necklace, it was hung from a nail in their home, until such time as she could forgive the Kelpie, or believe he could actually feel real love.
Our Kelpie Design
We tried to capture the wild, but seductive character of the Kelpie in our necklace. These creatures would gallop across the waves, and would slip in and out of the underworld through the portal in the centre of the Corryvreckan whirlpool. We’ve captured the turbulence of the waters in the swirls in the design, which have then been oxidised to highlight them from the rest of the pendant.