TBT: Original Mayan Compass

For Throwback Thursday, here is the original Mayan Compass pendant that I made in 2005:

An art jewelry pendant by Peggy Foy featuring a sterling silver ammonite surrounded by a coin fragment depicting part of the Mayan calendar.

Materials: Brass, copper, sterling silver, fine silver, steel coin fragment.  3/4″ diameter.

Originally, this was part of a series of “Compass” talismans.  I started this series when I first moved to Seattle; I had just moved cross-country (from Athens, GA) to try to make a start in a new city.  I had no job, no apartment, and I was casting about for direction; and, as I have written about many times since then: we artists tend to make art about what is going on in our lives.  I was seeking a North Star, and a compass by which to set my bearings; so the art that I made was about navigation, and finding one’s way.

(The original piece was given as a gift to my sister, who is now a world-traveller and is currently stationed in Moscow.)

Since then, I have made maybe half a dozen of these pendants, plus several as rings.  It is currently available in my Etsy store in the original copper and brass casing or in all sterling silver.  Each one is slightly different (I can’t make identical pieces even if I try!).

Mayan Compass Ring #1


Mayan compass pendant in copper & brass

Photo by Matt Bamberger


Mayan compass pendant in sterling silver side view of silver Mayan Compass pendant

Mayan Compass ring in silver

Photos by Andi Dean

I wrote the following for my Etsy page:

“This pendant has one of my cast silver ammonites set into the center, and part of a Mexican coin bearing markings from the Mayan calendar surrounds the border, creating a “shadowbox” effect of looking down into the pendant. The bail is constructed to resemble a watchfob …”

“….I love making pieces that convey a sense of a “talisman” or evoke a sense of magic. There is a lot of symbolism packed into this tiny object and it is intended to impart the wearer with a sense of direction and grounding – not in the literal, navigational sense, but in the sense of the direction our lives take and where the bearer is headed mentally. The markings of the coin resemble the points of a compass rose, while the fossil spirals ever inward, reminding the viewer to look within themselves at the same time that it reminds us that we are connected to the natural world around us. Finally, the Mayan calendar and the fossil are both symbolic of time; this piece is a reminder of the cyclical nature of things and that we are connected to what has come before as well as what is yet to come.”


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