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MERYSA NICHOLS

ARTIST

Modern Mourning Jewelry

Mourning ring (Left) and Quartz Chalcedony ring (right)

Good friends of mine recently and suddenly lost their wonderful friend and family member, Canto, a Samoyed dog. They reached out to ask for something they could wear to remember him.

I knew I didn’t want to do anything corny that they (and I) would cringe over in a year. I researched mourning jewelry from the 18th and 19th centuries. My skill set can be limited in jewelry and my ideas always exceed my capabilities. I ran into some walls on this project. Finally, I landed on a sleek minimalist locket and an updated men’s mourning ring. I had never attempted either but I figured the worst that could happen was I would have to try a fews times before I finished the pieces.

Back of mourning ring showing the dates.

My first attempt at the men’s ring ended with me melting the silver on one side! This is when I wished I could hit command+z on a keyboard…I started over and had no idea really how to do the letters and dates. I decided to make them out of hand formed wire and soldered each one onto the band. I thought about the men I know and what they would most likely wear, if anything, besides their wedding rings. I wanted subtlety and discretion.

Sterling silver locket.

For the locket, I followed a tutorial from a book by Allan Revere. I still cant believe I made it through the whole project without messing it up completely. Lastly, I have a somewhat large collection of gemstones and I found one I had forgot about that was quartz and chalcedony – it looked like the fluffy white fur of their beloved Canto. I created a simple setting and carved a “C” in the back.

Beauty can cheer us up sometimes.

This was one of my favorite challenges ever with jewelry.