Memento mori necklace.
Sterling silver, bronze; chase and repousse, etched, hand fabricated. 1.5” x 1.25”.
The inscription reads, “It is later than you think,” a wartime refrain from WWII.
In seeking perspective for our present day pandemic through plagues of centuries past – and how artists throughout history portrayed them – I could no longer escape the symbol of the skull as a reminder of the precious brevity of life in my work. How, in these times, despite our science and technology, we are vulnerable still, and stripped down once again to our most bare humanity—
The inspiration for this piece was a woman’s headstone from the 1800s; the pretty ribbons that flanked the skull seemed a reflection of how, for generations before our own, death was a much more integrated and perhaps less feared part of life.
I created the skull through an ancient technique called chasing and repousse. The technique is done by securing a piece of flat sheet silver into warm pine resin called pitch, and then pushing the metal in and out with a hammer and specially made tools.