Saturday, March 21, 2009

Studio Saturday Remembers

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments!As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Last weeks winner is LeAnn at SummersStudio, Congratulations! You have won one of Humblebead's new Dogwood pendants from Heather Powers!. Send us an e-mail with your address and we will get it right out to you.

Welcome to my studio here for LynnDavis and ExpeditionD, I've been busy making some special pieces of jewelry and I want to share the story with you.

This week I've been making pieces in remembrance. I learned last night that my aunt passed away. I'm making a piece of jewelry for my mother to remember her sister. I made almost all the components on the necklace, the faux antique gamepiece die, the replica vintage cameo.

I wanted it to be special but not obvious. The photo on the front, encased under glass in a handmade soldered frame, is taken from a copy of an old sepia photograph my mother sent me, with my grandmother and her children in it taken long, long ago. The little girl whose hands and dress you can see in the photo is my aunt.

The words are clipped from an old shabby book I'm gradually disassembling, taking the thoughts from the original writer and putting them to another use. That photo was taken in the depth of the depression, when hard times made things difficult for so many.

On the reverse side, at the bottom you can see my grandmother's feet wearing old-fashioned boots, and the words 'Listen For My Sake' because all the ladies in the family are great storytellers and good listeners, both. The metal and handmade faux ivory fleur-de-lys stand for the trinity of my mother, her sister and brother, in the family of my grandmother.

I will package up this necklace and send to my mother with a card telling her how sorry I am at her loss and how sad I am that my aunt, her sister, is gone. I hope she will wear it in remembrance, and that it will let her know I'm thinking of her.

Many people wear jewelry with the names of their children or grandchildren. My grandmother had a ring with the birthstones of all her children and grandchildren in it. I was fortunate to make the jewelry for my daughter's wedding, and a necklace to commemorate her new baby, too.

Through the ages jewelry, gemstones and silver have been used to celebrate and remember special events in families and communities. It's more than just an ornament, it's in memento mori, in remembrance of life.

So here's the question for you to answer, be the storyteller and share your story or history, a remembrance of things happy or somber, it's all part of life ...

Have you made a special bead, a precious piece of jewelry or remembrance of some event? What was your inspiration, how did you design and create it, and how did it make you feel to make it and to share it, if it was a gift.

Leave a comment, reply to this post, and you may win a memory pendant, made just for you, by me.

Posted by Lynn Davis - thanks in advance for your thoughts and kindnesses.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

I am so sorry to hear about your aunt passing away. I think your idea of making a rememberance necklace for your mother to remember her sister is a beautiful one. I'm sure she will be very appreciative.

I've never embarked on a project quite like yours, but one thing I have been trying to do is to preserve family relics in jewelry. For instance, when I was a child, my grandfather gave me an aluminum medallion that dated back to his own childhood. The medallion has his name, his hometown, and the year he made it from a machine at his town's train station. I finally used it as a centerpiece for a necklace so that I could enjoy it on a regular basis instead of just looking at it occasionally.

Again, I'm very sorry for your loss.

Best wishes,

Hannah B.

Gail W. said...

When my younger sister passed at the age of 40,my whole family was shocked.She had no liver left.We did not realizer she drank herself into a stupor every night.She didn't tell anyone that she had hep c.I made my mom a memory bracelet,with memory charms.I framed little pictures of her,her face,a hand with her rings.I searched and found several things to remember her by.It was one of the hardest thing I've ever done.Now and then,Mom and I and her daughter bring it out and remember.

Alice said...

A beautiful piece, made even more special because it is full of memories and handmade by you.

The only pieces I have made for an event have been ones donated for prom at our local high school. They normally stay in line with the theme for the event--this year being 'masquerade'.

My thoughts are with you and your family. Alice

dogfaeriex5 said...

well my grandma(my moms mom)was the heart of our family and i have such wonderful memories of spending time with her, she could take the simplest of things and turn it into something spectacular..she taught my sister and i how to crochet one summer and always said when taking our walks..always look down as you never know what treasures you will find...she also was a very religious woman who believed becuase of her i have a love of anything made with fibers...lace, afghans(granny squares,lol) fabric in general, sewing notions..i have a nice collection of old buttons and the smell of strong coffee , lol..she always had her perculator going...thank~you for asking..

SarahKelley said...

I'm sorry . . . the loss of my aunt is one of things that defines me right now . . . it's a hard thing. I'm not ready to bead with that in mind.

I did make my sister's wedding set. I used her and her dress as inspiration.
I shopped and just for once ignored the price of the beads because it was something she'd keep and wear forever. I used Hill Tribe silver, faceted quartz and moonstone and a few silvery Swarovskis.

It was a three strand choker (she has a great neck) and a little on the funky side (she's fearless.)

I was *so* nervous. I wanted it to be perfect of course-- wanted her to love it. And it was tough because I really didn't want her to get married:)

We survived it and she still wears it on special occasions.

CreekHiker said...

I have used the creamains of my dog in a bead. My dog Maggie saved my life...waking me from an unconscious stupor when we had a gas leak. She was my hero.

I must admit, I was nervous making that I afraid I would mess up. But I love it and love wearing it close to my heart.

Dale said...

I am amazed by all the beautiful stories you all have of your loved ones. I think that making a rememberance piece of jewelry is such a personal, special way of remembering someone. I am lucky not to have yet lost someone I was very close to, but i hope i would have the strength to comemorate their passing in such a beautiful way.

The necklace you are showing here is so very special. I was especially drawn to your wonderful, hand crafted frame. What a beautiful job you did!

falxumbra said...

(apologies if this posts twice; I'm having trouble with Blogger's comments)

I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt. That necklace is a work of art, both because of its beauty and because of all the memories it symbolizes.

Right now I'm working on reclaiming some of my mother's old jewelry- I recently helped her sort through her jewelry boxes, and weeded out the bracelets and necklaces with broken clasps or missing beads, and all of the unpaired earrings. In particular, I found a bracelet made out of antique coins that my grandfather made for my mother when she was my age- a few of the links are broken, but the coins themselves are intact. I'm going to combine them with some other fragments of old jewelry and some new beads of my own in a necklace for my mother.

My grandfather died when I was very young, so the only way I can get to know him is through the things he left behind- and creating something new out of something he made makes me feel just a little bit closer to him.

Ann Rishell said...

All emotion can inspire us to create. Love, grief, sadness, loss, passion, happiness and what we create is imbued in some part with that emotion.

Thank you for sharing your remembrances of your aunt and the wonderful necklace you have created.

Valerie C. said...

Reading all of these has brought a few tears to my eyes LOL. I'm such a dope.LOL

My Aunt died a year ago last January and It was hard for me to make anything for a while. All I could think about is how much I missed her. She was my favorite. But I have moved on and yes I did make a neckless for her and put it on her grave. It is still there. I am so surprised because it is expensive but she is worth every penny and it makes my heart sing that people understand the value of loving someone that is no longer with us in life.

My heart goes out to you and also my prayers will be with you and your family in this difficult time.

Best wishes to all

Valerie C
Cline Jewels

bluelapis said...

Im sorry for your loss. I have lost several aunts over the last few years and it can be hard to say goodbye. Your necklace made me think of my mom however. She too was raised during the depression. And she was re-purposing things long before it was fashionable. She was so creative. She liked the idea of making things herself and in using items others might discard as junk. She passed this on to me and I am very grateful. She always supplied me with lots of odd bits to work with and over the years I made her many things. But before she died (after an extended illness) I made her a rose bead necklace from her own roses from her yard. She was too ill to go outside and enjoy them, so I collected the petals and followed an online recipe and made her the beads. She loved that they smelled like her roses and that I had made them from all the petals that would have just turned brown and blown away. She wore it until she passed away. Now I have it to always remind me of her.

maneki said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I like this style of remebrance necklace, that it's very personal but still not obvious, to use your words. Only showing "fragments" of portraits give a feeling of a fleeting memory and at the same time there's a privacy I appreciate, that it is made for the wearer to rembember a loved one, the picture is projected inwards rather that outwards. And that is what matters.

I have not made any jewelry to remember a person, but when two of our cats died, only one year old, I was very upset. Vitis was killed in a hit and run and Svisston got quickly ill and died three days later. To remember them I took two small peruvian cat beads and repainted them after photos of my beloved ones. They look so much like the originals that I almost cried when I first saw the finished beads. I wore them as charms on a necklace string the first days. Now, almost 3 years later, they still hang on the wall by my bed. I have lost more cats, but to this day not painted any beads for them.

EmandaJ said...

As I was reading through all these lovely posts I began to think of the one thing I made for mother when her sister passed. Like Bluelapis, I used real rosepetal beads, made by my mother from roses on her sister's coffin. She asked me to make something from them for her and I made a rosary with the beads and pearls. It was not the most beautiful, nor the most elegant piece I've ever made, but it means the world to my mother. I too, and sorry for your loss, Lynn.


sharon said...

i have not made anything in remembrance yet, but your touching post about it hit a nerve and will motivate me to do this for someone soon. it's a very giving gift.

TesoriTrovati said...

Channeling your creative energy to something good can only buoy your spirit.
When my college roommate was diagnosed with breast cancer I had a vision to create a charm style cha-cha bracelet that would lift her up and make her happy and would contain gemstones with healing properties that I wanted to gift to her. I researched the meanings of the gems and combined them into a funky explosion of color and dancing goodness. That was the bracelet I credit with starting my journey as a custom jewelry designer. She cried when she opened the box and knew that I cared enough to thoughtfully place each gem, each bead. I wanted her to know that she had those healing properties on her side as well as my love.
Your work is inspiring Lynn. I love to watch your creativity evolve. Thanks for the opportunity to share.
Enjoy the day!

TammyG said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

This isn't a remembrance of an event, exactly. I saw a bracelet in a magazine that was in support of/commemorating autism. I adapted the design and made one for myself and one for a dear friend, who has a son with autism, and gave it to her during Autism Awareness month.

It was important to me to share it with her, although I felt bad for making her cry! Whenever I wear mine, I think about my friend and her special son.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Thank you, thank you all for your stories, for sharing and for your good wishes! I made a book to go with the necklace, the story is on my blog, I hope my mom likes the pieces. You all are so encouraging and supportive, virtual ::hugs:: TO ALL!