Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Pendant to Honor My Dad

I wanted to make a piece of jewelry that would be a tribute to my dad's fighting in the Pacific Theater for four years during World War II. I thought a 'booklace' would be wonderful way to capture some of the things he told me. The cover of the piece was done 'ala Thomas Mann style.' I used bronze metal for it, and etched a portion of a letter that he had written to my mom while he was in the service.
There are quite a few pages to the piece. The front side of each page shows a picture of him - one with his machine gun, one with a native from New Guinea who helped him, one when he was home with his parents, one of his purple heart, etc. On the reverse side of each page, I wrote little things that he told me about the war (which wasn't much, because he seldom spoke about it). The pages are sandwiched between mica sheets.

At his funeral, members of a local VFW post gave him full military rights. They gave him a 21 gun salute, and presented the flag to my sister. The bullet shell used in the piece was one of the bullets shot off at his funeral. I found the text, "the thunder of artillery" in an antique book. I thought it would be fitting on the bullet.

After seven times of putting it together and then taking it all apart again because I wasn't satified with the piece, I was pleased with the end result. The book has 9 pages in it, and I have it on a long leather cord. I think my dad would've liked it.