Mixed Medium Art ~ Wedding PearlsThis is one of the first reliquaries I made using a very large book. It can be difficult to find used copies of books this size for my reliquaries, so I snatch them up new whenever I can find them. Wedding Pearls was my most ambitious carving project at the time. It’s difficult to see because of the white and silver color scheme, but I had to do a lot of planning prior to cutting in order to get the layered look that I wanted– the perfect frame for the lovely vintage flower girl in this mixed medium art piece.
I was nine years old, and my favorite aunt was getting married. To my astonishment she asked me if I wanted to go with her to the dressmaker for the fitting of her wedding gown. I sat on a plush purple velveteen couch and watched in awe as she posed in front of the three way mirrors on a pedestal that made her look like a princess. At some point, a thread was snagged and carelessly pulled away, and a small shower of lustrous fake pearls fell to the floor, rolling and bouncing under my couch. I got down and scooped them up, and attempted to hand them to the dressmaker. “You keep them, honey,” she said to me. So I put them in my pocket.
In this reliquary, a young girl poses as charity and hope, standing beneath two intricately carved and layered arches enhanced with silver border scrap. The columns are covered with aluminum paper and wrapped with white and silver cord. At the top, clear Swavorski crystals and vintage foil-backed baquettes curve around a white frosted glass flower.
The relic is a vial of the pearls from my aunt’s wedding gown, nestled on a pillow of silvery gray satin, surrounded by silver-white trim and small silvery buttons. Hanging just above, is a refurbished bit of silver jewelry. Pearlescent white paper covers the rest of the page.
On the front of the reliquary, on top of the swirling silver and gray paper, a lily sits, encrusted with glitter, crystals, sequins, mica, and, of course, pearls.