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The story of Tristan and Isolde has been part of my life for many years. I went through a phase of reading medieval stories and still quite enjoy them. While Wagner seems to miss most of the dramatic beginning to the story, he does a powerfully beautiful job with the parts he chooses to portray. It was a pleasure to at long last design this bracelet representing this tale of love and anguish.
Each bead and charm of the Tristan und Isolde Opera Bracelet represents a character or moment from the work. Some of the most important beads and charms are described below and you can see all of the symbolic descriptions on the spiral chart photo above or to the left. Also, a story chart explaining the symbolism of the beads and charms accompanies every bracelet. Click here to see the chart.
- I chose a frosty bead to represent Isolde whose name means “ice battle”
- Tristan is a similar blue bead.
- Handmaid Brangane is a white cat’s eye indicating her name “white raven” and her position as witness to the tragedy.
- A black oval symbolizes the grudge and hatred Isolde carries for Tristan.
- A sword charm is the moment when he offers her his sword to revenge herself.
- A goblet charm with a purple droplet and heart symbolize the love potion which is often compared to the color of wine.
- A red crystal heart is the overwhelming passion that grows between Tristan and Isolde upon drinking the potion.
- A ship charm with blue beads is the Celtic sea, while a castle charm with green beads is the beautiful land of Cornwall and atmospheric setting of Tintagel.
- King Mark is a golden crystal; gold rings indicate his marriage to Isolde.
- A black cat’s eye represents the Knight Melot who sees something suspicious is going on between Tristan and Isolde
- On a fateful night, Isolde extinguishes her torch to signal Tristan to come to her. I used a fire opal bead surrounded by black beads to represent this moment.
- Deep purple beads with heart and star beads evoke their night of love.
- I used a Celtic heart charm to indicate how their two lives have become intertwined by the magic of the potion.
- A sun charm is Brangane’s futile warning of the dawn.
- I chose a crackle glass disc to symbolize the emotions of Mark who is crushed by the dual betrayal of Tristan and Isolde.
- A red droplet and black bi-cone crystal indicate the deadly wound that Tristan receives from fighting Melot.
- A blue bead symbolizes the faithful servant Kurwenal who tends the dying Tristan.
- I chose a music note charm to represent the shepherd boy, whose song heralds Isolde’s arrival. But, alas, Tristan is too weakened and dies in her arms (black disc).
- A crackled glass heart represents Mark’s grief at failing to unite the lovers (Celtic knot bead).
- Isolde, connected to Tristan’s life force by the potion dies to be united with him in death, symbolized by a crystal heart surrounded by black crystals