Reliquary of childhood memories
silver, 18k, 24k, bronze, copper, brass, native cotton, India ink, olivine; fabricated, metal clay, patina, cold connections
collection of the artist
This mechanical memory box and memory "timepiece" pendant captures the extraordinary wonder and bliss of watching my son grow, and the miracle that is motherhood, which must balance embracing and then releasing.
I also wanted to make a piece which allows for the viewer to look at it and see themselves as a child, as incredibly precious and full of wonder.
Some details about the materials and construction of the pendant: My son's birthstone is peridot, for the month of August. I chose the form of peridot that is found in meteorites--olivine--for the bail in the pendant, and detailed the edges of the pendant with little rocket ships and planets. The scene that I recreated in silver calls to mind the week I spent with him as the comet Hyakutake lit up the sky. The palm tree to the child's left represents my son's father, who has passed away. On the reverse of the pendant, where the cloud knob is located, there is a quote from Rumi:
"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust"... Turn the knob and the golden comet spins through the sky.
My son's favorite treat as a child was cotton candy, available only once a year here, at Carnival. I celebrated this wonderful memory in the automaton box. When you turn the crank, the little boy eats the cotton candy. I found the cotton growing wild here on St John by the side of the road, and colored it using India inks from my son's father's estate. Antique lovers may recognize the container--I made the box in the form of a delightful turn-of-the-century bank, a chocolate automat, which gifts the child a sweet when a coin is placed into the bank. This is an apt metaphor for many things about childhood and motherhood!