As an Army child, Pat called Germany home from 1953 to 1958. During that time, her mother started her sterling silver charm bracelet collection.
Pat, like most teenagers, felt uncomfortable with the attention the bracelet drew. Her mother’s choice of charms embarrassed her.
In my studio Pat and I toured the memories of 18 amazing charms now more than 50 years old.
She recalled stories of military and family life during those years. A detailed charm from Denmark brought back the discomfort of adolescence:
“It was so like Mom. She and Dad returned from a trip to Denmark with a boy charm for me. Here was this naked boy, urinating. She laughed and laughed at my reaction.”
Our first charm featured the Denmark exhibitionist.
“Now I can see that I never really appreciated the particulars of any of these charms.”
Some of the fine points we noticed:
- Moveable components – for example, a cuckoo clock from the Black Forest with moving parts
- Intricate aspects of each charm, such as facial features on the little boy or topography on a map charm
- Minute detail such as location, and sometimes artist initials, stamped on each piece
- Extra security with jump rings soldered to the bracelet, perfect for a teen who might be careless by nature
The magic eye piece from Piraeus, Greece, said to ward off evil, brought a recollection from 1973. And so it went.
We completed four charms and agreed on colors and style for the project. Pat left to add more beads to her project. After our time together she remembered other items she now wanted to include.
The fascinating project of building a treasure necklace is always more than the mere process of designing. Stories of keepsakes, recollections of owners and the distinction of each memento add to the vision.
Do you have a treasure necklace hiding in your possessions?