I created Twelve Blossoms in response to Cheongsam, a piece by jeweller, Elise Benjamin. I was struck not only by its arresting beauty but also by the unique story it tells. Cheongsam bravely divulges Benjamin’s personal battle of escaping cultural norms and finding her own way.
I began by hand drawing my piece before having it laser cut from mild steel, quenching it in oil and brushing with a steel brush. The piece wraps the wearer up in a chaotic DNA strand of floral embroidery motifs and lace, binding them with tendrils and leaves before branding their body with words. The dark, mottled colour casts the neckpiece in an almost ominous silhouette, with the bright scratches of silver revealing light beneath its dark exterior.
Twelve Blossoms has enabled me to document my memories of a deceased relative of mine. This neckpiece speaks of her overwhelming respect for nature and her intrinsic need to care for others, creating beautiful things for them and helping them grow. The size and constricting nature of the piece also alludes to her struggles with cultural identity and depression. The aim of this piece is to remember two very important messages she told me: to respect and care for the smallest of things and to always seek light in the darkness.