Monday, January 18, 2010

Ghosts of My Past

I made this necklace last year after finding a thrift store tin that was covered with vintage images. The tin was made to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of a family owned chocolate company, and the images helped to tell the history of both the family and the business. Recent years have found me dealing with significant losses in my life, and this necklace captures a sentiment regarding how people may leave our lives, but their impact remains.
'GHOSTS OF MY PAST GUIDE ME THROUGH TODAY' was stamped onto a sterling base which was textured with a chisel and a center punch. The bow at the top was saw cut from an old, damaged sterling buckle that my mother had given to me years ago. After filing and sanding the edges, I riveted the bow to the top of the sterling base. I wanted to create a balance of dimension and cut a piece of brass that I textured with the rolling mill. With the edges filed and sanded, I riveted the brass piece to the sterling base.
I cut discs of images from the tin and then created copper ring 'frames' that were hand forged from recycled wire. Texture was added with a punch and the ring was assembled with the image disc and a solid copper back. The three layers were riveted together. Holes were drilled for connecting to the sterling chain which is supplemented with wire wrapped aquamarine rondelles. Other adornments were randomly added- as with the sterling heart and the copper plated leaves shown here.

I loved this particular wedding image from the tin. The heart is sterling with rhinestones and was rescued from a thrift store find.
A bit about the photo that I used as the backdrop- I feel compelled to buy vintage photos when I find them at thrift stores or flea markets. Even though they document somebody else's family history, I don't like to see these photos as castaways and take them home with me. I love this young girl's look of serious confidence and thought my necklace would complement her nicely.

What a wonderful image of this young trombone band member! The copper ring framing him was textured with one of my favorite, old chisels.

The framed images are backed with discs cut from a piece of copper that I milled with some lace.

When I first made the necklace, I used a lobster clasp that had been purchased. I recently entered this necklace in a members show at a local art center. Because of the abundance of talent in the membership, I thought that the manufactured clasp would not be viewed favorably during judging. I made the clasp with 16 ga. sterling wire and am pleased witht he result. I guess the judge was also somewhat pleased- I got Honorable Mention.
Too bad that in the announcement posted at the gallery and on the center's web site that they noted me as Cynthia Finston.

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