Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Story Behind the Piece

I like to make pieces that suggest a story, open for anyone's interpretation. Sometimes, there is an actual story of mine that I used for inspiration, as with this piece. The bird in this pendant is sterling with abalone inlay. In it's previous life it was a pin, but it was a broken pin. My mother found it during one of her thrift store outings (this thrifting thing is most certainly genetic) and passed it on to me.

I sometimes have to hold onto interesting materials until I am properly motivated, but I knew right away how to use this bird. It made me think of a day that my one son and I spent in Philadelphia with relatives visiting from Illinois. We spent part of the day in the historic area seeing the Liberty Bell (in spite of the alarm going off just after we got into the pavillion), the Betsy Ross House (in spite of the on-going debate over whether or not she actually lived in the designated house) and Independence Hall.

We also took advantage of a charming program, Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches, that Philadelphia started a few years ago. Large, semi-circular benches are scattered throughout the historic part of the city and each is hosted by a storyteller during the summer months to entertain visitors with unique stories about the history of Philadelphia and the Founding Fathers. The six of us walked by one empty bench and were coaxed (some might say badgered) by the storyteller to sit and hear his tale.

While I really enjoy history, I am not too interested in 'play-acting' history. I don't remember the particular story that we were told except that there were sound effects (wind, creaking door, thunder, bird call, etc...) that the six of us were expected to supply at appointed times. I think this could be fun for young children, but we had no young children in our group. Maybe I'm strange and unappreciative, but I have have an expectation that another adult will speak to me like an adult and I think I rolled my eyes when told that I was to supply the sound of a bird when signaled.

My family members were much more gracious than I was and did their sound effects with enthusiasm. When my turn came, I paused and said 'TWEET..........TWEET' probably with a little too much agression, and I was properly chastised by the other five in my group when we left the bench. Sorry, storytelling man............I know you were doing you job. This pendant is my penance for not play-acting well with others.

I cut a rectangle of brass for the base and textured the edges with an old chisel. Holes were drilled at the top to attach the chain and holes were drilled for riveting. I drilled three holes in the bird and riveted it to the base. The text 'balloon' was saw cut from a sheet of brass, stamped with TWEET....TWEET and also attached with rivets.

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