Friday, April 10, 2009

Modern Mourning Jewelry

At first this may seem disturbing. Human hair and ashes used to make jewelry. Although the Victorians popularized hair mourning jewelry, the locks were delicately woven to appear more like fine needlework. They didn't look, well, so hairy.

Design student Anna Schwamborn, who's worked with a couple of my favorite designers (Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen) has created a new vision for hairwork jewelry. Rosary beads, a "tear catcher" watchchain, and other items use human hair as well as ashes embedded in black bone china. Unlike their Victorian predecessors, these pieces don't try to disguise their hairiness - they revel in it.

Of course, there's a certain shock value here, and this concept's not for everyone. In my view, anything that once intimately belonged to someone you loved and lost is inherently beautiful.

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