Foxes (kitsune in Japanese) are a common subject of Japanese folklore, and one of my personal favorites. For those not familiar with the tales, stories depict kitsune as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Furthermore, as a reflection of their age and/or power, kitsune can have as many as nine tails. This kitsune possesses three tails and is shown holding its hoshi no tama delicately in its jaws.

“Hoshi no tama” translates loosely to “star jewel” or “star ball”. In kitsune lore the hoshi no tama is said to contain the kitsune’s life force, soul, or power. This sacred jewel is most often described as a white, glowing orb, however I’ve taken artistic liberty with my interpretation of it and have chosen instead to use a glass marble filled with a swirl of ruby red which represents the kitsune’s magical ability: a kind of otherworldly flame called fox fire.

The marble is a custom piece made specially for this mount. It was crafted by hand at my request by Swedish glassblower Marianne Degener. You can find her Etsy shop and more of her gorgeous glasswork here.

This mount was propped up for photos but is meant to hang on the wall. It is for sale at my Etsy shop and at Ebay. Thanks for looking!

Here are a few photos of the swift fox that I took to this year’s state show. I wrapped the body, starting from scratch with wires and building it up with excelsior and something yarn-like. The head is a modified gray fox head, shaved down to fit the swift fox.

As for the candleholder base? Sturdier than you’d think! The glass balls give it more than enough weight to comfortably support the fox.