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Tribes Collection Description

My tribes. They began with a very loose story that has grown over time. For me they are like family connections. They look nice randomly strung together. A bit like they've been collected from a lost culture....some other time period...washed ashore, excavated or scavenged. They're created from the lost bits...the detritus nobody wants. Pieces of cut-up knife, fork, spoon...some lost antique beads, segments of a key, old buttons, inset bits of broken Victorian lantern slide. Dirty, beaten, distressed ...only fragments survive. But survive they do...becoming more beautiful with time. They support each other; they mingle and chatter...they fight for the limelight...some shine if you let them. There is value to be found in these small, broken objects. Inspiration in their resilience and decay.

The making process is different in each case. Some Tribes are made from sliced vintage knife handle. I slice knife handles up to make charms. Old knives were often weighted with plaster slag with metal flake. This plaster is exposed when I cut the handle. It's quite beautiful...a pinky-grey shade with glittering bits of exposed metal flake. It's quite durable.

Other Tribes are made from vintage forks. I remove the tines and solder a ring on the end of each. Then I string them on a chain with other Tribal charms. Sometimes I'll combine the tine charm with a white domestic button (usually a Victorian button if I have them available).

The Victorian Glass Lantern Slide Tribes are quite special. I inset broken fragments of Victorian glass lantern-slide into a charm made from a sliced-knife-handle.  First I slice the knife handle, then grind down the interior plaster. I carefully grind a fragment of lantern slide so it fits into this depression in the knife handle...inset it...then solder a silver wire around the edge to hold the glass fragment in place. The glass is very thin so it's a delicate process. I choose the glass fragments for their pictorial or colour interest. Sometimes I find a piece with a little number, or even a recognizable image. Other times I focus on the beautiful hand-painted colours. Each one is unique. I make new ones from time to time (it's fairly labour intensive!). I'll make new ones to order.

Prices range from $65 - $120 depending on the amount of work and scarcity of material. Browse through the individual tribal charm necklaces under 'Collections - Tribes' to see what's still available...or design your own!


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