The Creek Mud Talisman is a real thing, found in 2011 by an intrepid outdoorsman. It is a symbol of our fleeting lives and a reminder to live the most you can, while you can.
It is simply, a tree root. Maybe from a locust tree, as that rose above the creek bed where it was found. The base is made from buckeye burl. The box it lives in is a really cool combination of Mexican zirocote, and spalted maple. The large voids are filled with clear epoxy.
The small round metal parts on the surface of the right stile are neodymium magnets. The box is lined with satin.
It has several led lights that are powered by a coin sized battery. The switch is mounted up by the lid, which can be removed to change the battery.
The frame is made of zirocote, a very dark, dense wood that has spectacular light colored sap wood. The panels are spalted maple, with tons of figure and awesome gnarly knot holes and branch inclusions. Brusso hinges.