Shelly Cavanaugh - 'Wishing Well'

Plan B Art Project


Piece for 'Plan B Art Project' by Shelly Cavanaugh

Materials: sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, mahenge garnet (12+ carat), diamond bead, 14K yellow gold chain 

Pendant Dimensions: 1.5" in length .75" in width
Chain Length: 24"

About the piece:

"I am incredibly honored to be included in this very important show. I was invited to participate before the SCOTUS ruling to overturn Roe V Wade. That decision made the creation of this piece so much more powerful & emotional for me.

I have tremendous gratitude for Planned Parenthood. For a large portion of my life, this organization was my only affordable resource for reproductive health - from annual screenings to birth control. It is because of the care I received, I was fortunate to never be faced with the decision to end an unwanted or unsustainable pregnancy.

I wanted to create a piece that was voluptuous & beautiful; ripe with symbolism & open to interpretation. Serpents are a strong element in most of my work. Historically, they represent fertility or creative force. They also symbolize rebirth, transformation & healing. The Mahenge garnet centerpiece was the perfect stone to highlight this piece. This variety of garnet is sometimes referred to as Malaya garnet, which means outsider or outcast in Swahili. That brought to mind the young women ostracized for being pregnant out of wedlock; the women who have been hounded & humiliated entering abortion clinics. The diamond bead can represent so many things; a fertile egg, a birth control pill to prevent pregnancy, a Plan B pill to immediately halt a potential unwanted pregnancy, a fertility pill for those struggling to conceive. Reproductive rights cover so much more than abortion.

I chose to title this piece “Wishing Well”; a vessel to manifest wishes that resonate with your own body, sexuality, well-being & the choices that are right for YOU.

To the women who have chosen abortion, I support you. To those who have chosen to have children, I support you. To those choosing proactive contraception, I support you. To those who have gone to extraordinary lengths to conceive a child, I support you. To the men who have chosen to have a vasectomy, I applaud you. No one should ever feel shame around their body or the choices they make surrounding such issues.

The process of stripping away our fundamental human rights has begun. We must be vigilant and use our personal power to stop this tide of reproductive rights reversals. Wishing ALL beings well."