Monday, April 12, 2010

The Prize: I've Got All My Sisters With Me

I finally worked up the nerve to alter a tintype from my collection and use the old stock bronze award medal plate, and both together!

This piece was made, except for the nice, airy Vintaj natural brass chain, clasp, Chinese turquoise disks and the short string of small oblong mother of pearl beads, completely of recycled old jewelry.

The tintype is a portrait of two sisters in c.1870 attire, cut into a circle and mounted, first on a large carved mother of pearl coat button riveted to the bronze medal.  The surface has been waxed to help preserve it.   May the Circle be Unbroken!

The graduated mother of pearl beads were given to me by a friend and they have been worn smooth to a soft, waxy shine by a woman we've never met, who now we can touch though the patina she gave them with her touch and her hope for beauty.

The rose-shaped beads are from a contemporary piece found in a thrift store and repurposed, as well as the locket shaped bead pendant.  That has been etched with hand written script, "we are family," and patinated a color that called for the turquoise disks.

A friend says the rayed motif seems somehow religious, like things she's seen in Europe, and that works for me, along with the concept of the medal, thence to soldiers, since we are beset on many sides with the trauma and tragedy that breaks our families -- it does take some soldiering to preserve and honor our relationships with loved ones, whether they are natural born family or those we "adopt."  Of course, this meaning all came together about 3 days after I finished the piece, which is part of the wonder of found-object work:  synergy and serendipity that reach out from our deeper places unconsciously and give meaning.  Well, I am happy that happened here!  So, love to all my friends and family, enduring love, soldiering love that persists and doesn't give up. 

Let nothing take away our capacity for love, patience, and acceptance of our beloveds just as they are.  It helps me to remember what another friend taught me -- you don't always have to understand, just accept.  That couldn't hurt so much, could it?

We Are (All) Family!

Peace, Brothers and Sisters.  Eyes on the Prize.

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