Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weekly Challenge: Week 33 reliquary

I'll admit that this one was difficult. It took me a long time to finally cut the tape and open the box. I was afraid to touch the earrings. They are imbued with her energy; her final breaths. I didn't want it to escape. But I eventually mustered the courage to open it.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

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

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Weekly Challenge: Week 33 relic

Mom's deathbed jewelry

This is the jewelry Mom was wearing when she was taken off of life support on February 10, 2006. After we had all said our goodbye's, I carefully removed her earrings. She was wearing a sterling silver hoop, a black pearl stud darkened silver ball and a cz stud. Mom always liked a little sparkle. The wooden cross had been placed in her hand by the hospital chaplain. Although none of us saw Mom as a religious person, we left it anyway. 

This Thursday marks the 5 year milestone of her death. May not seem like much, but it has hit me like a ton of bricks. Really, shouldn't there be a commemorative coin or something?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekly Challenge: Week 32 reliquary

paper mache, paint, plastic skull, velvet, my friend Noah's tooth
(this measures 4" h x 2" w)

I'd love to see the tooth fairy that goes with this piece...