Once again Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati has created a cohesive yet diverse and individual challenge. The brief: Select a region, then a country. Create an accessory or your choice that evokes that nation. Sounds simple. Yet the possibilities are endless.
I chose Europe: Germany. Seems like the least exotic choice when the world is laid at your feet, or at least your Interweb accessing fingertips. My heritage is Celtic. All Celtic. I am approximately 1/4 Irish, 1/8 Welsh, 1/8 Scottish, and you guessed it – 1/2 German. The German part of my heritage hasnt spoken as loudly as the island Celtic bits… I have lived in London and felt at home there. I have visited Edinburgh, Scotland and the bagpipes stir my blood. I have trekked Wales from waterfalls to Medieval castles. And I have seen treasures in the Rebublic of Ireland, from the Book of Kells to romantic crumbling ruins. I have never been to Germany. Ever. It seemed fair to give the other part a fair investigation.
I wanted to stay away from the cultural icons of Oktoberfest, beer steins, the Black Forest, the fairy tale turrets of Nueschwanstein. I read lists of famous Germans, articles on Anglo Saxons, and have an enticing list of folk tales to pursue in the future. I wrote a pair of teaser posts on German notable persons and German artists. But it was still all too much…
So I turned to the research done by a distant cousin on my mother’s side; the history of the Boesch family – my maternal grandfather’s heritage. The branch of the Boesch family can be traced back to Stade in the mid 1600’s.
Unified Germany is so large, with so many distinct regions – I found it much easier after I decided to focus on the city of Stade.
I was inspired by the griffins on the city’s coat of arms, and there was also a key. I like that symbolism, unlocking a bit of my ancestry. I have wanted to do a copper pipe shrine for a while, and this was the time to experiment… Shield shapes to reference the coat of arms…
Words stamped in German: “history & my country”. A map showing Stade from my mother’s girlhood Encyclopedia Brittanica atlas. (Yes – the days of door to door encyclopedia salesmen. My Grandpa invested in a set – and I still have them…) Slivers of mica.
Stade is located in northern Germany just outside Hamburg on the river Elbe.
So with all this going on in my head – this is what I created:
The top copper piece has an overlay of antique paper covered in resin. It is in German, from a book of unknown origins. Lovely Gothic font, and at least 200 years old. The griffin image is framed at the center, and key dangle. I had used a tube rivet to hang the dangle, but it was awkward going through the rivet. Turned – much better. To complete the piece – chunky stones (calcedony) and copper chain, 18-20″ long. I wanted the griffin image to be seen clearly so it is not recessed into the depth of the center chamber.
The back allows you to see into the center chamber with the vintage map and a few glass beads for movement. The top two corners are joined with micro bolts that I sawed off and riveted to secure the piece.
It will be fun to wear – in the fall. I have to admit – the large area of the copper does stick to one’s skin in the humid late summer. I often use words, an dcreate pieces with a meaning. I also enjoy creating a piece with a secret. The wearer knows of the secreet and chooses to reveal and share or to concel and remain quiet. It creates an interaction and a dynamic between the wearer and the viewer. This piece certainly fulfills that, and I had a fantastic time reading and researching and creating.
Please take time to tour the world – in under 80 days! My fellow travelers are listed at Erin’s Treasures found blog or the following map. Have fun!