Aqva Regia is an artist producing handmade engraved bone pendants, skulls and other ritual supplies for followers of the left hand path.
Around two years I got to know AC and together we decided to start Aqva Regia. The initial idea was that we would do crafts together, but I decided to step down since I was too occupied with other projects at the time, while still remaining supportive. I now wanted to ask AC how Aqva Regia has progressed since then, about the works being created, where the inspiration comes from and the future plans for Aqva Regia.
Aqva Regia from a philosophical point of view
To start with, I asked AC to summarize the meaning behind the name. As some of you might know, Aqva Regia (also written as aqua regia, royal water or king’s water) is a mix between two acids, which together have the ability of dissolving the noble metal gold, hence its name(s). My own view on this is that it has a strong value as a symbol. Gold, for instance in spiritual alchemy, represents the highest state we as humans can reach. At the same time you could view Aqva Regia as something “higher” or stronger. It is a substance having the power to destroy what should be infallible. Maybe we’re not dealing with the true gold after all…
Aqva Regia dissolves everything. This idea is important in my philosophy of life. We need to remember that everything is perishable.
This is something that I find reflected in the works of Aqva Regia. Bones, antlers, blood – all from animals that once lived. A reminder of us having to one day leave the world, at least in the form we are visiting it today. I asked if AC has any specific design principles in use when creating the art, or if the material is allowed to speak for itself.
I would say both. Sometimes I have an idea in advance and sometimes the result is something completely different once I have started. I don’t think it’s just the form speaking. Bones are different from a piece of wood. They have lived before.
Charging items with blood
You describe some of your works as “blood charged” and use strong symbols on them. Can you say something about the impact this has. Do the pieces receive some form of “power” from the intention you have when you create them? I assume that it’s not just for good marketing.
It’s definitely not just marketing. It does bring something. I see blood as our life fluid. I don’t use human blood in my works (mainly pig blood), but it definitely brings something with it. If that impact remains is up to the receiver to decide. Some only view it as art and I can fully accept that. Same thing goes for music. One person can perceive a piece of music in a completely different way than you do.
What materials do you enjoy working with the most?
I would say bone. It’s easier and better to manage than for instance wood since it’s harder. The possibilities are greater.
From where do you get your materials?
Some of it comes from ordinary butcher shops. In those cases I will do the whole preparation myself, removing the skin, meat, connective tissues and so on. Other times I find materials from second hand sources. I enjoy working with both previously prepared pieces and fresh bones, but the full preparation from scratch takes a lot more time.
Ritual items for bands
I know you have made some custom items for a few bands. Can you tell us a bit about them and how you found your inspiration for the works you created?
For instance I have made stage props for Attic and for Shrine Of Insanabilis. For Attic, part of the art I created was skulls used on stage. Another item was a necklace with seals taken from their own works. For Shrine I created an engraved skull using a seal taken from the layout in the band’s debut album. I have also created custom jewelry for some band members. The symbols used are such that have a specific meaning for each band, but also for me they have significance.
How do you choose the symbols used for the other items you produce for Aqva Regia? Most of the ones found in your shop tend to be “classical” left hand path symbols such as Lucifer seals, hexagrams or alchemical symbols.
I also do other items privately that I don’t show to the public. I definitely have a left hand path focus, but I don’t want to narrow it down to one single strain of it. I prefer selling more of the “classical” symbols to the masses since the other ones are too personal or I don’t wish to use them publicly for other reasons.
How and when did you start working with art using bones or antlers and with taxidermy in general?
When I was around 15-16 I was very much focused on heathenism and paganism. For instance I made my own drinking horns and decorated them. Around 5-6 years ago I was given a cow’s head from a farmer and decided to prepare it on my own. I boiled it to remove the meat and other tissues in a gigantic pot. Nowadays I work more with decoration. I had more possibilities to do the full work when I lived in the countryside with more space outdoors etc. The things I could do there are not practical to do in an apartment. I can’t really have stinking animal heads hanging outside of my window…
The future of Aqva Regia
What future plans do you have for Aqva Regia? Do you have some kind of dream project that you would like to do?
I would love some kind of more extensive project. For instance, it would be interesting to contribute with custom made jewelry for an album – a limited special edition for the buyers or something in that vein.
How would you describe your own philosophy in life? What drives you to create your art in a world which (if straining it a bit) is rather meaningless? Why are you doing this?
The only answer that appears in my head is that I have to do it – I have to do something with my hands. It gives me some sort of balance. I’m a restless person and never satisfied. I always want more, always reach for higher levels. You need to balance the inner quest with something more physical, something that is possible to grab with your hands.
If you want to see more of AC’s work, check out the Aqva Regia shop or the Facebook page. She can also be found on Instagram.
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