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Copper brooch - pierced metal


While doing some cleaning of my studio I came across my first pierced and sawn piece from copper sheet.  I remember Dawn Nakanishi assigning the project in the beginning metalworks class at Cabrillo College in Aptos.  Every assignment would set my heart racing as I was out of my comfort zone of materials, fiber and seed beads, and hoped I'd be able to do as well as all the young students around me.  It was SO MUCH FUN!

The assignment was to make a brooch from copper sheet using a silhouette of oneself from a photo.  I can't remember now if it was also supposed to be from our past or not, but this photo of myself, my younger brother, and Miss Carter at The Cove was one I'd always liked so the one I chose.


Miss Charlotte Carter was the wonderful end of a long list of women that stayed with us when my Dad was off flying for the airlines.  She stuck and we were all the richer for it.  I loved her like a grandmother.  I remember asking her once if she'd ever thought about marrying and she said that she'd been in love once, but she'd given him up to take care of her younger siblings when their mother passed.  I still am saddened by that, but I do know her family loved her deeply. 

I remember she made the best fried chicken!  She also taught me to crochet.  She would spend many hours crocheting squares of fine cotton for coverlets as gifts for all of her nieces and nephews when they got married.  They were so beautiful, each one different, and took so many hours of her handiwork.  I'd find her sleeping in one of our rocking chairs with her needle still in one hand ready to pick up where she left off when she awoke.  The Carter family became a second family for us and we enjoyed many potlucks and family events with them.  They provided some familial stability that was so appreciated and needed.

The Cove is a 3000 acre nature preserve in northern Virginia where we used to camp quite a bit.  There are a lot of stories from those trips with my Dad.  As a teenager I was mortified by his seemingly lack of color sense and thought everyone that passed our campsite must have talked about how we stood out so against the natural landscape, but now I think about how wonderfully bold he was.  You can't see it in this photo, but our bright orange truck would always be parked next to our green and yellow tent and red and yellow awning.


The pièce de résistance was his pair of shorts which was extraordinarily bright with sayings from the TV show Laugh-In like "Sock it To Me" and something about a yogi.  It was quite an oxymoron that he would've bought them, as my Dad was very conservative in his politics and never would've allowed us to watch Laugh-In.  Perhaps he didn't know what the sayings were from which is a definite possiblity as he didn't watch much television.

My Dad shared his love of nature with us and I am very grateful for that, as it is part of who I am.  This brooch represents that connection to family and nature.



"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,

finds tongues in trees,

books in the running brooks,

sermons in stones,

and good in everything."  William Shakespeare



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