Making of Protection, 2018

This is my first time working with metals this year and initially, it left me defeated.. This material requires flames, drills and chemicals daily. I have always been afraid of putting heat or sharp objects near my face.. especially repeatedly.

Making “Protection” has challenged me in many different ways. As an artist, I don’t typically create functional or utilitarian objects, but jewelry design has forced me to consider my own person and spatial qualities while creating. As a general rule, I don’t like to include my physical person in any of my final projects because I have already put so much of myself into creating it.

This piece was inspired by the St. Christopher pendants that were exchanged in the 1960’s in California along the coast. St. Christopher is the saint of travel and protection. These pendants were exchanged and worn as symbols of protection while traveling or surfing. Protection pulls from the shape and textures of this pendant and it’s original purpose. For as long as I can recall, I have had a pendant on my neck, keys or hanging from the rear-view in my car. My father has the same imagery from the back of the pendant engraved into his class ring from 1983. While I don’t carry my pendant for religious purposes, I carry it because of the history and protection it has always afforded me and my family.

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In the final piece, I have pulled the image of the saint and the original text from the front of the pendant to almost make it unrecognizable. I’ve replaced the center with open space to create 14 perfect circles, representative of my siblings and parents. The texture and color of the pieces references both my father’s class ring and the imagery on the back of the pendant.

Protection is my modern and personal response to something physically so small, but also so significant in my life.