One of the many things I adore about jewelry is the meaning and feeling we assign to the pieces we wear-our jewelry is very personal.
There was a time when jewelry not only carried personal meaning for the wearer but also made a outward statement about the inner sentiments of the adorned. Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was in a large part responsible for the fashionable donning of black gowns and large jet jewelry, as she never emerged from the social protocol of dressing in mourning after the death of her beloved Albert in 1861. In short, the risk of death in the Victorian era in western culture was so high due to pestilence, war and poor hygiene that a woman could rightly spend most of her life observing the social protocols of mourning. Thus, sentiment spilled over into fashion-because what’s a stylish Victorian girl to do if she has to spend the rest of her life wearing black???
Pictured above is Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise, looking appropriately somber in 2 strands of large jet beads. I love it. I love it so much I created my own in black concrete, which to me represents the weight I experienced in my mind and body during my own period of mourning. The other image is a hoard of concrete beads that belong to said necklace titled; The Abiding Ornaments of Your Memory Wrought in the Unbearable Dominion of My Longing. It is like an extremely exaggerated version of a Victorian woman layering her beads. I imagine the sentimentally fashionable Victorian woman in all her melancholic splendor under the constricting weight and indulgent beauty of the layer upon layer of my concrete necklace…want to try it on?
The Abiding Ornaments of Your Memory Wrought in the Unbearable Dominion of My Longing. Heather Perry, 2013