Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October is… Pink

This has been a rough week. It's October and that makes it Breast Cancer Awareness month. My Mom's birthday was last week, she is a survivor. Go mom! Today (the 15th as I write this) would have been my Dad's birthday, he died of lung cancer when I was in my early twenties. Sometime this week my Grandma comes home to hospice care. At 90 she has been diagnosed with breast and colon cancer. The surgery went well, but the recovery has proven to be too much for her body. First the incision blew, then the pain meds gave her hallucinations and a devastating fall breaking her hip. More meds, more hospitalization and her heart just can't take any more, she's developed congestive heart problems. They are sending her home to die in her own bed. This was a very large part of my tumultuous August, the initial diagnosis and surgery. I had truly hoped the recovery would be much smoother than it ultimately was and am heartbroken to say the least.

Back in August or sometime in September, I'm not really sure at this point. Heather Powers issued a design challenge on Art Bead Scene She had posted a photo of a painting Tres Personajes by Rufino Tamayo Its reds and purples, greys and golds were very striking and as I loved the jewel tones I thought to design a little something to play along. But with everything going on at the time all I could see was Day of the Dead. So I sketched but my heart wasn't in it.

Last week I had a little downtime and as Day of the Dead is approaching I pulled out my sketch and played a little. I first embossed a piece of copper and gave it a dark patina. Then I dapped an oval to support my sugar skull and pulled out the clay. I hadn't sculpted anything in ages and it was a very nice change of pace. I sculpted the skull in layers of black and grey and added a crown of flowers. I had originally planned on using the vibrant colors of the painting but opted instead at this point to go with the traditional colors of Marigolds. I remembered the wonderful leaf charms Jennifer sent during bead soup and knew they'd be perfect to balance her crown, I even tucked in a couple vintage leaves I received in an order from a sweet little shop on Etsy.


The chain took an evolutionary turn as I wasn't entirely happy with the size or style that I had been working on and decided instead to rivet larger links. The links slight arcs reminded me of ribs and they just seemed to fall into place perfectly, the original chain I had worked up balanced it well and I finished it off with one of my hand crafted clasps.


Once it was finished and I thought of the celebratory nature of it all it seemed it might be the perfect cathartic release. A celebration and remembrance of the lives of my family by love and by blood. The people who were and are closest to me and are most responsible for who I am today.

I found the challenge if you're interested in seeing the results - gorgeous colors!

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

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