Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Family Heirlooms (RAW and THaW)

Last post I told you about the new challenge groups I was part of. I’m also part of an Etsy team called “The Aspiring Metalsmiths”. These groups collide wonderfully sometimes.
Every month The Aspiring Metalsmiths have a design challenge… the members of the group each make something that fits the rules for the challenge, then we all vote on them. Whoever wins gets to pick the next challenge. It can be very exciting, nerve wracking, and awesome!! The December/January challenge was picked by Heather of Misty Ridge Designs ( ). She wanted us to make some jewelry that reflects our family history. I started out with visions of the Royal jewels we *Should* have. But I ended up using some very old family photos. Here's the link to our team blog, so you can see all the entries!

RAW 1/52 is a ring that shows my great grandmother Ivy’s big sister Myrtle Atkinson. Set under a magnifying glass cabochon in sterling silver, and marked with both “Myrtle” and “RAW 1-52”.
On the back of the original photo was written in Grandma Ivy’s hand “the best sister one ever had – Ivy”. She was a lovely girl. In this photo she looks so innocent and demure.

RAW 2/52 is a ring that shows great grandma Ivy herself. Set under a magnifying glass cabochon in sterling silver, and marked on the back “Ivy” and “RAW 2-52”.

I think she must have been around 18 months old when this photo was taken. Nobody knows the story now, but she is in the woods…standing on an animal fur of some sort. She looks like a cross between Cupid and a fairy from Midsummer Night’s Dream! I’m assuming that her big sister Myrtle probably “styled” this photo.

THaW 2 is a pendant that shows a broken photo of the Atkinson family, long before Grandma Ivy was born. I set this in sterling silver under a flat pane of glass and marked the back “Family Divided Reunited”.

When I was going through some old family photos, I found the first half. I thought that was awfully sad. The family was split down the middle. I set it aside and kept going through boxes. Many hours later, in another pile of photos, I found the other half of the family! YEAH! You can still see the dividing line in the photo, the rough edges where it was broken. In the photo, left to right, are: Mrs. Robert Atkinson, children Myrtle, Keith, Florence and Mr. Robert Atkinson.

I’m really proud of these new “Heirlooms”. I love the idea of wearing a little family history, rather than letting it molder in a box somewhere. I have plans for a few more pieces in this series, and am on the hunt for interesting photos of the other side of my family.

I would also be excited to take on someone else’s family photos!! How fun would that be? Contact me if you’ve got some treasures you’d like rescued from the box!!

If you’ve found my entries interesting you’ve got to check out these pieces!!

RAW group:



THaW group: http://http//


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