2015's Final Custom Piece

My final custom piece of the season was truly special. I have had the components for a while now, a little longer than I care to admit, but I knew I had to be ready to create this piece. 

I was entrusted with several pieces of jewelry from my lovely friend Debbie, who had lost her sister to cancer this past year.  It has not been an easy year for her and we have had a few conversations regarding loss and grief and pain.  Among the items she gave me was a shell casing from her sister's 21 gun salute.  The day she gave it to me to create something, I realized the importance of what I can do through my work.  There was something about the shell casing that just overwhelmingly struck me.  It was such a tangible piece of grief. Of finality. Of honor.  And she had given it to me, to do something with.

This week I asked my husband to practice a few times crushing a casing in his vice, because I only had one shot at this piece and I wanted it to be right. He was so helpful and after a couple attempts I handed him the casing with apprehension, but faith.  It came out great. Just wide and flat enough for me to stamp upon.  I combined the casing with opal pieces, gold nuggets, a pendant and even a gold ring that had all been Bonnie's.  I have to be honest... though I hadnever met the woman, I asked her to guide me to create this piece for Debbie.  I felt her.  I knew what words to use and the design flowed quickly and easily.  I hope I did her proud, and Debbie will feel her when she wears her memorial piece.

Merry Christmas Debbie. XOXOXO