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Topic: Miniature Shrine Necklace - an experiment in wearable shrines (large images)  (Read 1834 times)
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onceupon
« on: June 17, 2008 06:54:39 AM »

So, I've been working on shrines lately, and really enjoying the results (a couple of which you can see here). But I REALLY wanted to translate that aesthetic and general vibe into jewelry.

The idea of a wearable shrine meant finding a small container (small tins seemed ideal and a serious no-brainer) and addressing a subject that could be miniaturized. This necklace has really been my proof of concept - figuring out if this style of jewelry is something I can do and do well.



This necklace has evolved quite a bit. For a while there it just wasn't coming together and I wasn't sure I could pull the idea of a shrine necklace off.

I replaced a hanging skull with a watch-winding key, adding rhinestones to the inner sides to increase the dimensionality of the piece, and added a darkened metal circle to the back. The key is hanging from a gunmetal silver chain - the same chain which is threaded through a darkened metal circle chain. I got rid of a bright silver chain that I was using to form swags - I don't think this needs the swags at this point.



The general idea began as momento mori, which I think it still accomplishes without being morbid or depressing.

So, what do y'all think? It is obviously a larger piece and isn't for everyone - I don't know that *I* would have occasion to wear it all that often, even! But I love the idea of very baroque lockets and shrines and am having a lot of fun experimenting with my work in this direction.
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008 07:07:42 AM »

I think that is a really interesting piece!
I fear I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how "large" it actually is but I think you used great elements in your shrine that work nicely together (good choice with the darker chain).
When I first saw it, I thought it might be filled with resin, I'm guessing that would make it a lot heavier though and I bet the pendant is pretty interesting with free moving parts.
Nice work! I think you should definitely wear it out! Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2008 07:20:04 AM »

I think you did an amazing job!  I don't think it is too big, the overall design does hinge around it as a centerpiece and the other elements are sized such that they compliment the shrine.  I think it is beautiful, not morbid.
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2008 07:25:06 AM »

Gorgeous!  I would so wear this!!  Imagine it dressing up jeans and a tank......
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2008 07:33:41 AM »

I think both the piece and the ideas behind it are excellent. I don't think it's morbid. I do, however, think it's a bit big for everyday wear; but then it'd not be for everyday wear would it?!

I'm wondering, have you ever seen victorian hair jewelry? I'd love to try my hand at that and can't think of a better memento short of getting one's loved one turned into a diamond lol!!
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/6504795.stm)
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2008 10:06:01 AM »

I really love what you've put together. The colors are gorgeous and are paired so well, and I love the aged look you've pulled off without having anything in there that, up close, looks like it's truly something from ages ago. And the chain couldn't be more perfect - the aged look of the metal, the color, and the way it offsets the size of the piece are perfect.

Did I say that I love it? Smiley

When I started making jewelry, I made some pieces that I thought were pretty, but that I wouldn't wear myself. I intended to give them as gifts or sell them. Over time, though, I became attached to them, and began wearing things I wouldn't have considered before. One of them was a necklace with big chunks of turquoise and red coral, and had a huge (or at least that was my opinion at the time) hammered diamond shape as the focus. I said that I would never ever wear it because it was big and gaudy and completely not my style, but it ended up becoming one of my favorite necklaces! Over time I saw that it wasn't nearly as big or flashy as I'd thought, it was mostly just heavy. So give it a chance, and you might find that you like it! I know I normally wouldn't wear something that large, but I would definitely wear what you've made - it's beautiful!

I've been fascinated lately by mini shrines - although I wish there was a different word for them; shrine makes me think of a tribute to someone who has died, and while they can be made for that purpose - and a memento mori fits quite well in that theme, too - the shrines I've seen cover so much more. But then calling them "tiny theme boxes" just have the same effect, does it? Grin
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2008 12:16:15 PM »

Gorgeous!  I would so wear this!!  Imagine it dressing up jeans and a tank......

That's exactly what I was thinking! 
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onceupon
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2008 01:47:02 PM »

Thank y'all so much! I am so glad that you guys think it is working - I've been nervous with this project.

As to how large it is - it is the bottom part of one of those Altoids Smalls tins. I'm not sure of the exact dimensions (I can't find my darn ruler anywhere) but I'd guess it is about 2inches by 4inches wide and tall and a quarter or a half inch deep.

I actually did consider filling it with resin - I'm not sure the weight would be a bad thing. In the end, though, I really like how all the pieces move.

Orrkid, you are dead on - these are all totally new components. I'm glad they are managing to convey a sense of age, though - that rocks! And I have had that happen with other things I have made, too, so I'll keep it in mind for this one. *grin*

The idea to wear it with jeans and a tank.... It's funny, the picture of me wearing it above? I was wearing jeans and a black tank and actually really liked how it looked! *laugh* So I agree with y'all on that one!
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