Saturday, September 4, 2010

something has been bothering me for some time....

and I thought maybe making another piece would help.

You see about a year and a halfish ago, a friend asked me if I could make a necklace for his girlfriend for their anniversary. "Of course!" I said because he is an old friend and despite having only met his girlfriend a few times I felt totally comfortable doing it... at the time.  I had made my mom this pendant for her birthday.
This is the piece my friend saw which led him to commission the piece for his girlfriend. His only real specification was hearts because there was a significance in their relationship. It was their 5 year so he asked that there be 5.

So what did I do? I designed, I fiddled, I showed him a few ideas and chatted to him about a few. Unfortunately he is a ways away so he didn't actually see the work in progress. Because he had raved to me about this piece, I felt like the commission should have the same materials, so I incorporated an antler slice into it as in the one for my mom and came up with this.
I was actually thrilled with the finished product. I don't much care for hearts because they are usually so trite, so I made them kind of stylized and got creative with placement, not only cutting a tiny one directly into the antler slice, but cutting a hidden special one into the back.

Well, my friend seemed to like it a lot BUT, still did not mention one VERY significant thing about his girlfriend. SHE'S A VEGETARIAN! So a few weeks later when I spoke with him, of course I asked him how their anniversary was, how she liked it, etc. I knew by his tone it was not good. This necklace will never be worn. It will sit in a box because while a wonderfully sweet gesture from her boyfriend, she is put off by it. Special, but not to wear. I can't really blame her, but I still feel awful about it. I tried even to talk to them about it, to set things right, make a  new piece, or rework the current one with another material in the place the antler and received the, "No, no, you didn't know," " it is special still,"  "I don't want to put you out."  End of discussion.

 I have a whole bag of antler slices that have been crying for attention because these two pieces were such a joy to make but the aftermath of the second puts a pit in my stomach every time I think of trying something. It also made me think... ya know, it is a NATURAL THING for deer to shed their antlers, just as sheep and goats sometimes lose their horns in gripping headbutt battles or even just because they need to. I'm am fairly certain no animals were harmed to create these pieces. In the future if I purchase any more, I WILL BE CERTAIN THAT THAT IS THE CASE!  Needless to say it still bothers me.  A LOT.

Well not today my friends. Because I challenged myself. Here before you is a brand new one of a kind piece in my antler slice series of art jewelry and I adore it.

 It still needs a patina to "age" it a bit, but my liver of sulphur went bad so it will have to wait till the new gel type comes that I ordered (very excited to try that btw!)

Hopefully I can get my hands on some sheep horns soon, I think they'd make for really interesting mixed media pieces with some wool incorporated with the metal.

P.S. any thoughts would be welcome.


Drucilla Pettibone said...

this is so interesting emily... i would feel awful too. but i don't really get it, you know? many vegetarians still wear leather or eat fish. even if she is a total vegan, it ought to matter that no deer were harmed to gather the antler. i always get hung up on these issues when it comes to wool. i find many vegans are uninformed... especially since synthetic alternatives are often worse for the environment.

sorry to ramble. i really do feel for you and i think these necklaces are amaZing.

pumpkinhaus said...

wow em... that necklace is just beautiful!!! I am happy you were able to "overcome" and make some more! I would love to have one!!!

Emily Wohlscheid said...

thank you both so very much. i really did feel derailed after the whole incident happened. it is nice to get some positive and understanding feedback. I have another one on my bench that I just need to rivet and patina that I will share soon. :D