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Revamped Wings: A Sterling Silver Memorial Necklace

The original "Wings" - developed in 2010.
The original “Wings” – developed in 2010.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you know that I have been revamping my work to sterling silver since mid-January. This month, I was honored to revamp the one piece that is most dear to me: a necklace that I developed bearing my mother’s monogram. I called it “Wings” and it is a memorial necklace.

I stumbled upon the original design quite by accident, playing around with charms and engraving blanks- and I really liked the 2 angel wings together. It was as if they were hugging the disk in protection. At the time most pieces I had seen with angel wings only had one wing – or were a completely different design altogether. I knew I stumbled upon something I was really feeling, but with the current fonts I had it simply did not seem “finished”. Wings was benched for awhile – until I purchased an interlocking monogram set.

New re-vamped "wings" - with sterling silver (cast) wings, chain and disk
New re-vamped “wings” – with sterling silver (cast) wings, chain and disk

The original design was made out of silver plated components and when I finally offered it up to sell the original price I listed them at was $17 – because I still felt weird selling a remembrance piece. It seemed really wrong as it was a memorial necklace for my mother. But over the years I have heard the stories that go along with the necklace: loss of children, mothers and fathers. Friends and relatives. I was beginning to feel part of one’s healing process, and that in turn was very healing for me.

I’ve been “test driving” the new design and really like it. It’s smaller in design compared to the original, and I am finding the older I get, the more I like to either have a very subtle piece – or the option to layer with other jewelry. And although the price is significantly higher than the silver plated “Wings” (double the $23 price the original had been currently selling for) you really can’t argue with quality. Most of the cost incurred is due to the fact that these are cast wings. Unlike the culinary grade pewter charms I tend to use, these wings are completely sterling silver, making the cost significantly higher. Unlike the silver plated option, there is no fingers crossed that the item will not tarnish to ruin: you can polish the sterling silver version again and again.

DPP_5973Switching this piece in particular to sterling silver means it will stand up to the elements and I know I will cherish my piece for years to come.

If you loved the original “Wings” piece don’t despair: it will be coming back as a keychain/bag charm & a metal bookmark. I had a purchase for a rear-view mirror charm once, and I love that idea. That is a possible development as well.  For those of you who love gold, I have not had any luck finding 14kt gold-filled wings yet that I like. But I do have the engraving blanks ready to go, for when the time comes.

 

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“Wings” Tribute piece: Personalized Memorial Necklace

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5 years ago to this day, my mother passed away suddenly at the age of 54. I would like to say *unexpectedly*, but I had a prophetic dream a week prior of her death, & although I was somewhat prepared, it was certainly a trauma nonetheless. We had an at times difficult – albeit honest – relationship, and I developed the “Wings” memorial necklace in her tribute, as a constant reminder that she still walks beside me despite having many moments where I feel motherless.

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I was on the fence about releasing this piece to customers, as it was so personal to me, but I decided by not sharing it I was missing an opportunity to help others heal & honor their loved one as I did. Since releasing “Wings” earlier this year for customizing, it has hands down become my best selling piece. I have had the honor of engraving these with the initials of loved ones for people I had never exchanged words with, yet I felt a connection to all the same. The most difficult request, was for infant loss, and I grieved for this mother even though she never knew of me or that she would be receiving this keepsake.

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Now I cannot believe I ever considered never sharing this piece. It is such a good example of why I create. It keeps me human. It keeps me connected. It gives me a sense of purpose in a world that some days makes no sense.

Love to you, mama: where ever thy soul shall roam…

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Have you been healed by creativity? I am looking for examples to be featured here on the creativity inspired blog of how art/creativity helped you overcome loss/hardship/illness. Did you paint a picture? Get a tattoo? Plant a garden in honor of a person or event? I want to hear every & all examples of how an outward expression aided you in your process. It is my hope that others will find comfort in these inspirational stories. Please contact me directly in order to be featured, or leave me a comment below. My only requirement is that you have one picture of the finished product to share with readers. Namaste!