Monday, November 1, 2010


A couple of my pendant designs incorporate some very personal effects... or they will do, once I figure out exactly what these elements will be. The pendants were designed with spaces for these elements to be included. The intention always was for photographs or other ephemera (bits and pieces that we collect throughout a lifetime), but I have to decide on some specific images now.

All of the photographs or writing will be scaled down - miniature photographs and letters. The miniature aspect is very important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there is a great tradition of miniature painted portraits in mourning and memorial jewellery, going as far back as the early 1500s.

To quote:

"From this time, the sentimentality behind the miniature portrait is in its subject. Full size portraiture of people wearing miniatures of their loved ones is the greatest form of memorial. It is a true symbol of intimacy, keeping the picture of a loved one close at all times, and it is this tradition that is maintained right through until the advent of photography."
- From The Art of Mourning (

The second reason the 'miniature' aspect is so important is simply that miniatures have a real resonance with me... childhood memories of my dolls' house, something I still treasure because my Dad made it for me. I think, now, that a lot of this connection simply has to do with the absolute detail contained in anything that has been 'miniaturised' - somehow concentrating the essence of what something is into such a small space.

As such, I am now going through photographs, selecting significant ones to scale down and include in my pendants. I've also made the somewhat brave decision to include pieces of writing from some of my journals. I'm feeling as though there is not much point in making these pendants if they aren't personal in some way.

One of the pendants, too, is specifically created in a 'remember me' theme... something of a time capsule that tells a story about who a person once was. In this case - me. So I have a little bit of writing to do as well, a letter to the future... thoughts about life and death and something about me. I'm not planning on dying anytime soon, but writing this letter, I feel, will be a good way to bring together a lot of thoughts and feelings that have been evoked by this studio.

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