Thursday, February 10, 2011

Five Years

some of Mom's cremains with a yellow rose I got for her when she died

yes, a canning jar. If you knew her, you'd know how appropriate this really is

Today is the 5 year anniversary of Mom's death. It sucks, I'm sad, life goes on.

I thought that today I would share my own personal reliquary with you. This is really where my passion lies; creating personal memorials, reliquaries, mourning jewelry.

Before Mom died, we talked about me making an urn necklace for her ashes. In a letter, she told me she had a dream that it was heart shaped. Okay, I can do that.
After a few months, I started some sketches. I'd need certain elements that related to her: a heart, a bird, and something cheeky. So the final design became a heart shaped urn with a carving of a bird. The bird is holding a banner that reads "I'm her favorite". The running joke between us 9 kids. I think she really meant it when she told each of us that we were her favorite.
but it was really me.

On the back, I carved a little epitaph:
Love Never Dies
Herein lies Georgianne V. Hernandez
10.24.46 - 2.10.06
beloved mother, sister, aunt and friend

Here's the original wax model I carved:

I then had a mold made from my wax model. From there, I had the pieces cast in sterling silver. 

Once I had them all polished and ready for the ashes, I decided to webcam 2 of my sisters. At the time, we were unable to have all of us on screen together, so Carla is on camera with me and Saca is chatting. I wanted them with me when I opened up Mom's ashes to add to the urns.

me, Jack and Carla onscreen. Saca & Paul via chat

I added this rocking chair to the box to be interred with her. Some of us also wrote letters and drew pictures and added them as well.

The final step was to add Mom's ashes to each necklace. Once the ashes were in, I set a clear crystal cabachon over the opening. This way you can see inside and see her ashes. I also like to think of it as a window for Mom to look out of.

So there it is. I wear mine every day.

photo by my sister Carla


carla ten eyck said...

love this on so many levels. Mostly to see that letting my hair grow out was a very good decision.

but really. I was her favorite!!

Tara Raymo said...

I Love this! The urn necklace is gorgeous! I love the banner that says I was her favorite, my siblings and I fight over that also.

dejavudu said...

While i knew most of these details already, some i did not. I'm so honored to read the complete back story. Thinking of (all of) you today. Much love.

Amy said...

This is so incredibly beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story and your artistic gift with us! Tinking of you and your siblings today!

Heather Addley said...

I am blown away. This is so beautiful, you have brought me to tears.

Anonymous said...

I just absolutely love this. It is so beautiful. Do you make things like this for sale? Not the one for your mother, of course, but other types? So touching. Thank you for sharing!

Tere @ My Precious Studio said...

Carla, Tara, Amy, Dejavudu, Heather and FairieMoon:thank you all for your kind words and support!
Carla, you crack me up.
FairieMoon: yes, I do make reliquaries for others. follow this link:


Ramona S said...

Wow, Tere, this is hauntingly beautiful, all of it. I love the window for mom to look out of. Precious. I love that technology allowed you girls to be together for this. I got chills and I'm right there with Heather A. and the tears.

A said...

It is all SO beautiful. I especially like the idea for a crystal stopper.
I have to finish my sissy's and I'm still having a difficult time actually sitting down to do it. I carry her close to my heart and stay in touch with some of her friends;I think that comforts me the most. I love to hear the parts about my sister I was too young to remember. Those stories help me fill in the parts of her I didn't understand.