This story is about my great Aunt Sandra and how I came about creating jewellery from a deceased ashes.
Since forever I have had a fascination with mourning jewellery. Mourning jewellery originated during the Victorian era in the 18th century, when king Prince Alber died and his wife, Queen Victoria mourned him desperately and needed to feel close to him again. So she commissioned jewelers to create something from his cremated ashes she kept in an urn. Some people might find this type of jewellery macabre. I personally find it rather beautiful and sentimental. Knowing that the remains of your loved ones, are forever sealed in your jewellery, that can be past down through the generations to come. Never to be forgotten.
As some of you may know, I also create jewellery from hair and teeth. Generally from animals or humans that are still alive. Whether it be from a child’s first tooth, to a puppy tooth, to a child's first curl. I had never worked with Ashes. So when I saw my great Aunt Sandra at one of our yearly family gatherings, she didn’t look herself. She was distraught really.
Since I can remember Sandra, she has always had her little shitzu cross maltese by her side. Her other half she would call him. She does have a husband, who she has never called her other half. Recently her husband had his 3rd stroke and needed to move into a care home facility. Right around the same time, her ‘other half’ died at 17 years of age – that’s equivalent to 119 in dog years.
As I was saying, I saw her at a family gathering, pushing her husband in a wheelchair without her little shadow following her obediently. She couldn’t even speak. She had no words she told me, whilst tears running down her face. Later that day, her son told me how she carries the dog’s ashes with her in a zip lock bag wherever she goes. I asked him, to ask her if she could spare a tiny bit as I would like to make her something with it.
So this is how I came into making this type of mourning jewellery.
I have just posted it out to her and have no doubt she will treasure it and wear it close to her heart forever.
Love never dies.