This past Christmas season I had the pleasure of creating quite a few custom oriel pendants. I so enjoy making custom oriels for people. It is an opportunity to create a beautiful piece of jewelry that showcases something they love or treasure. People have told me that their pendants hang close to their heart and whenever they touch them the oriel reminds them of a specific love, feeling, or memory.
I will first scan the photos or take the jpegs and reduce them to an appropriate size, print them, and cut them out and place them on my work table. I often sit with the images for a while and let them "speak" to me. This is such an interesting process, often filled with playful humor. What bubbles up is often surprising -- colors, collage materials, background images, beads, crystals, charms, even words -- just seem to appear from out of my stash and fall together to form a collage that once completed, resonates not only with me, the artist, but with the person who is receiving the pendant.
People send me images of their animal companions, near or gone:
They'll send me photos of their loved ones:
...the memory of a special place they've visited:
...even favorite movie stars:
How lucky am I?