13 July 2009

Meet My New Friend: Lord Byron

"She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies."

Lord Byron was a one of the most widely known of the Romantic Poets. His poetry is filled with the flowery language of love as much as his life was lead in pursuit of the ideal of love. His words resonate with a longing and passionate romantic side and his life was filled with many trysts and even scandalous affairs including one with a half-sister. He spent much time in Italy and Switzerland and retained a strong connection to Greece, including a young Greek lover named Nicolo whom he had placed in his will.

"One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place."

Lord Byron wrote this poem in homage to the wife of his deceased cousin, a Mrs. Anne Wilmot. He met her at a party and was enthralled with her great beauty. This is less of a love poem about trying to woo but rather more about ideal of her beauty. And she must have been one heck of a beauty!

"And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!"

I like to have some sort of inspiration when I make a piece of jewelry. I find it incredibly hard to just create in a vacuum for an unnamed wearer, which is likely why most everything I sell is a custom creation for a client. I would like to be able to create and sell more things to the general public, but I find it difficult to do. The things that I make that are the most successful are the ones that have a story to them and allow the wearer to be transported to another realm.

One other such iconic beauty was my grandmother, Agnes. I have a photograph of her that my Aunt Dorothy gave to me that is really one that I treasure. Of course, she was only about 15 in this photo so it is not at all as I remember her, but I love to see the girl that she was.

I also like to participate in challenges from time to time as a way to keep my work fresh and current. Vintaj is a company that I love to work with as their pieces are of such good quality and the effect is sublime. They have a monthly challenge on their blog and July was "Fond Memories." My grandmother is the subject of this fond memory. Although it is not a memory that I have, I love to invent the story behind this evocative 15-year old beauty sitting in a garden on the family farm. What was she doing there? Who was the photographer? What is she thinking?

So I combined my inspirations for this challenge....my grandmother's photograph, the rich beauty of the Vintaj brass and the poem by Lord Byron. I think that the effect is nothing short of magical.

I am proud to say that my piece "She Walks in Beauty" took second place.

If you would like to know more about my process in creating this piece, I invite you to read the post at the Watch Me Create blog for today.

Check It Out:: Watch Me Create

Enjoy the day!


Anonymous said...

Erin - I absolutely love this piece. The story behind the creating of this necklace seems to fit the design perfectly. Thanks again for entering it into the VDC this month, you should be getting your sampler pack soon!


Stacey said...

Congrats on the second place - very cool - I loved this piece. Such fun - and what a cool photo for your pendant

mairedodd said...

so beautiful... i feel the same way - i have to feel some kind of a connection for a piece to really work... i want to thank you for bringing up the challenges on vintaj and sharing so much info with others... it is appreciated...

a fanciful twist said...

Hello beautiful friend! Oh look at that old photo! i loove the name Agnes! JUst love it, I love old fashioned names so much.

And Lord Byron, oh yes, what a poet! I love that you find inspiration for your jewel making via such sources. I feel the same way. I used to do jewelry all day when I left Interior design 12 years ago, and then I started my career I just left. The ten year one. And I used to do that while doing jewelry trunk shows all over the planet. It was so exhausting it was something I don't think I could do again. But I will say this, you are so right on, you have to find inspiration to create almost anything of beauty, including jewelry...

And to wear one of your pieces inpired by romantic poetry or old photos would be super dreamy!!!

xoxox (I want to make sure you have been getting my e-mails? I am not sure) Love, V

Mellisa said...

Fantastic! I immediately saw constellations and night sky when I saw the necklace. Congratulations on the recognition!

Elena_Valeriote said...

Love the poetry! This is just what I love about blogs.

stregata said...

Erin, congrats on this!! Truly a beautiful piece and I love the inspiration behind it! I have noticed these last weeks that you like to have that special connection while creating, to make it personal and very special. Something I very much admire!

Beverley Baird said...

I have to tell you - this brought tears to my eyes. I could see my Mom in a similar picture (I lost her a year ago) and what a lovely tribute this is to someone you hold dear.
Thanks for sharing this story, beauty pendant and the process.

rosebud101 said...

Congratulations! Your grandmother was beautiful!

Cindy said...

Erin, Congratulations! I'm not surprised one bit...your jewelry is so beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother. I really like the direction your jewelry is going...love it.

Deryn Mentock said...

Congratulations! Very beautiful...

Anonymous said...

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