Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Little Women

Tiny Faces in Portrait

Do you remember the book 'Little Women' about the four sisters and the mother during the Civil War? Pretty Meg, tomboy Jo, silly Amy and little Beth with her doll collection, and Marmee the mother, brought to life by Louisa May Alcott. Louisa's father, Bronson Alcott, was a friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Louisa based the story 'Little Women' in their family home called Orchard House, written in 1868. For more information about Louisa May Alcott, there's a Wikipedia link with her biography.

This little pendant reminds me of that for some reason. Like one of those miniature portraits that were so popular in victorian times before photography became available.

They painted a likeness on a porcelain blank, with very fine detail using miniscule brushes in glaze, but so very tiny. During a time when there were few ways to preserve a likeness of a person, those hand painted miniatures were legacy jewelry that was passed from generation to generation. Sometimes worn as a brooch, other times as a charm or watch fob, or inside the heart of a cameo or locket pendant.

This little pendant is made in that spirit of an antique from the victorian age, a likeness of a lovely lady with her hair up. It slightly resembles the photograph of Louisa May shown up above, but it's not her portrait.

If you are interested in more information about miniatures and the beginnings of portrait photography there is a blog with a lot more information.

I want to make more of these with different style hangers, and with black and white images as well as color. Little faux antiques, daggerotype replicas and imitation porcelain portraits.

I have a fondness for these antique-looking pendants. And I want to combine them with a cover that opens, to make lockets.


Gaea said...

Your new designs with the swirling wire are so beautiful!

LLYYNN said...

It's a freeform wire thing, I just grab the wire with round nose pliers and start twisting my wrist, if I overthink it too much it has a blocky feeling instead of wild and woolly - thanks for noticing, and hopefully it doesn't look TOO wild

Gaea said...

No! It's perfect and organic! It has a lot of feeling and whimsy!

Fanciful Expressions said...

Your head just overflows with ideas. You're just so creative and your designs are lovely. I especially like the swirls.

LLYYNN said...

Thanks for the reassurance, I've got some new charms I made this morning I want to photograph, they are whirling and swirling away - someone please tell me when the twirling is too much and hopefully I can step back the right amount to swirl calmly - LOL