Relic of a Toxic Future
My final jewellery project from 2017! I created a necklace based on my previous work, Copper Jewellery for the Post-Apocalypse, but this time it focuses on my music rather than survival. The requirements of the task were to design a wearable charm/amulet/talisman for yourself or someone you know, and gave a huge hint that including some kind of activation ritual would be a good idea to get better marks. If you're a paying patron, you'll be able to see how I approached all the silly superstitious implications of that when I hand over the 86-page blog in a few days.

The Gist

1. The main purpose of the Relic is to help me get into character for my new music project. It does this by becoming part of my gig prep routine, and by creating the physical sensation of weight against my chest to trigger memories associated with being in character.

2. The Relic also facilitates meditation through a prayer-beads-style design, to assist in calming down when experiencing nervousness before performance, or when otherwise needed in day-to-day life.

3. To help reflect the overall concept, I rammed as much symbolism into its design as I possibly could. See "Symbolism" below for more.

4. To present my work well but without having to be all polished and normal and against the post-apocalyptic theme, I also created a grungy, decaying, lightly-burned zine that helps tie everything together in one conceptual bundle. The full digital version of the zine will be made available to paying patrons in my next goodies drop!

Here's my favourite page (with a lyrics snippet from the new project!):

Symbolism

So the main symbol of the Relic is pretty obvious. It's a biohazard warning overlaid onto a radiation warning. Goes really nicely with the post-apocalyptic vibe, and the "toxic future" theme. Also, being made of copper, it naturally degrades over time.

Around the main symbol though, are 13 drilled holes filled either with rivets or jump rings. Hurrah for the "unlucky" number 13!

Then we have the black beads. If you follow the sequence around, you'll notice there are 6 in each section, marked out by the main symbol and the grey beads. 6-6-6!

The white beads, on the other hand, add up to a lucky 7. And putting them together with 6 black beads gives you another instance of the number 13!

So you get a fun bit of dark-and-light duality, with the beads being related to each other by shape and colour. The colour red has sooo many meanings, so I won't go into them here, but as for the shape of the beads, they're intended to look smooth but irregular, a bit like rocks worn down by time - except they're plastic (Fimo), so it imagines a post-apocalyptic world where the plastic we left behind has become part of the natural world and subject to its forces.

After that, we've got the two grey beads. These are actually based on the design of the very first nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Trinity Gadget. Particularly in these days of renewed nuclear posturing, it seemed appropriate to include them on my post-apocalyptic necklace. As a bonus, they also glow in the dark.

Finally, if you add up the number of beads, you get 27. This happens to be the number of beads on a small set of mala prayer beads. And if you go around 4 times, 4 being the Chinese/Japanese number of death, you get 108, which gives you the full number of the mala prayer cycle.

I think that's everything, but I won't be surprised if there's more I've forgotten. If there is, it'll probably be documented in the blog. So I guess I'll leave it at that! And end with a picture of the rear, which went red in the oxidation process. I actually really like this, it's a shame it doesn't happen on the front during soldering! But on the other hand, I guess it's also cool to have something hidden, and the burnt redness over my heart.

See you in a few days for the goodies drop! ^_^

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