Thursday, March 8, 2012

Memory Jewellery

If you are reading this blog, jewellery is most likely a beautiful and enjoyable part of your weekly or even daily life. Certainly, there are not many days that go by when I don't play with the beads, just a little! Jewellery is beautiful to look at and can be an expression of how we feel; how we perceive ourselves or wish others to perceive us. But jewellery can be more than even that - it can capture memories, it can act as a talisman, it can keep those we are parted from with us. And handmade art beads are the perfect way to capture these memories and thoughts - individual tiny pieces of art, worn close by.

My family recently lost a very dear member - our little house bunny, Maisie. We were pretty devastated by our loss, and I wanted to create something for myself to remember her by - something special, that I could keep close by and feel that she was still with me. So I decided to create a bracelet, commemorating her and her sweet nature. It struck me that bracelets form the perfect 'memory jewellery' - not only are they visible to others, but unlike necklaces and earrings, can be seen by the wearer.

I thought of the things that reminded me of Maisie. She was a tiny bunny, and we had nicknamed her our 'Maisie bird' due to her daintiness and her quick, darting movements. So this beautiful lampwork bird from Elise Thomas, which my partner just happened to have given me for Christmas, was perfect to capture her. 

Boro Lampwork Bird by Elise Thomas

She was black and white in colouring so freshwater pearls and Czech glass were the perfect framework for the lampwork bird. She also loved rose petals - not something she got to eat often, I must say, but on the few occasions that we had roses, she really enjoyed them! So a sprinkling of tiny Czech glass flowers were the perfect accompaniment, and also broke up the stark monochromatic colour scheme. A heart frame from Fallen Angel Brass (a deep, rich colour to co-ordinate with the colour scheme I was working with) I adapted into a clasp completed the bracelet - perfect, again, for capturing just how much we loved Maisie.

Not only was making the bracelet incredibly cathartic for me, but every time I see or wear the bracelet, I am reminded of my sweet girl. For me, it was the best way to honour and remember someone so important to me.

Why not create your own memory jewellery? It could capture and much missed and loved pet like mine does, but equally well a friend or family member who lives far away, a place you have visited and fallen in love with, a memory from childhood....there are so many possibilities here. Think of the elements that make up the person, place or thing you want to capture...find an art bead or two that really speak to you and frame them with your favourite beads. Memories captured forever, to be kept with you and worn, rather than just sitting on a shelf or bedside table.

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer and singer, currently living in Manchester, England. You can read more about beads and singing at her blog, and see more of her jewellery


m.e. said...

great post !
I LOVE making memory jewelry!
wearing designs that evoke happy memories help make any day better.
I blogged about 2 of my own memory designs this week!
m.e. :D

Karen Gille said...

I was devastated when my little dutch bunny died suddenly. She was a classroom pet, and she rode to school with me every day. My students created pages for a book which made a a very special memoir. I loved reading about how you chose the various elements for your bracelet. When my favorite cat died I thought about incorporating his bell into a necklace. You have inspired me to do just that!

Bea said...

what a lovely way to remember a special member of your household - your beads are beautiful

Heidi Post said...

Aww Rebecca, that is so sweet. As soon as you said it was in memory of Maisie, I realized that the big black flower w/ the little white flower represents her ringed eye :) That is such a beautiful tribute to your darling little bunny ♥

elise thomas said...

So sorry for the loss of your sweet pet, that is always so hard. Glad to hear that you found a special way to commemorate her and and I am THRILLED that I was able to contribute!

Thanks so much for the mention! And kudos on your beautiful & meaningful design :)

Lisa said...

That is beautiful, Rebecca! I wish you nothing but happy memories each and every time you wear it!

Sherri said...

Rebecca, I'm so sorry you lost your bunny! I'm glad you made a memory bracelet in her honor!!

Cindy said...

Rebecca, I am really sorry to hear you lost your little bunny, Maisie. Your bracelet in her memory is really so sweet. I have a real soft spot for bunnies myself.... I've had 3 over the years. Babycakes lived to be almost 14. He endured a broken leg twice through the years, but he was so incredibly determined and so lovable. Towards the end, I would hang out at night by his side and started making a bracelet. Coincidentally it had glass beads and a flower theme as well... that was several years ago now, but I'll always associate that special bracelet with him because of the time I spent with him while making it.

Patti P. said...

I love what you did! We lost our dear dog,Bobbie, at 14 years old last November. She was a beautiful Red Heeler, so I have just a few beads in mind now for her! Thank you for sharing about your sweet bunny.