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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Day of the Dead
This whole skull thing is harder than it looks...

The recipient gave us the following prompt:

Sharon's de los muertos bracelet. Sterling, glass. Photographed 21apr12.

Hi everyone!

My bead represents a passion for me—Calaveras—and the festival's surrounding the holiday interpreted as the “Day of the Dead”. Dia de los Muertos. I am not a morbid person. This passion stems from a firm belief that our loved ones are always with us. Sometimes I imagine they could be guardian angels, fairies, or maybe even reincarnated. I think the least we can do is talk about them, celebrate their lives, and honor them however we can in return for their everlasting love.

As you can see, even though I am a quiet person, I enjoy colorful shiny, sparkly, things—just like any old crow! I also appreciate a mixed bag of styles so...if you add something that is intrinsically YOU it will fit my theme perfectly, as it will remind me of you.

This is one of the most unusual of all the bracelets, and one of the very few for which I did not make a spacerbar charm—making a skull bead small enough was simply beyond my capabilities! I was going for a cat skull, but I think it just falls into some generic feline/vulpine/canine carnivore.

Obviously I don't believe those who have died exist in any sense except in our memories; but what better way, than bones decorated with flowers and color? Particularly as it's spring, and bulbs come as close to this imagery as it's possible to imagine.

My notes in the recipient's notebook. Others had started to draw pictures of their bead, so I included a brief sketch, since these web pages are my ‘real’ documentation.

To make the bead I looked a bunch of pictures of felid skulls. I quickly concluded that ears were absolutely necessary to get the point across. Like other de los muertos, I put flowers over the eye sockets (represented by black dots) and elsewhere. Not, perhaps, the strongest piece, but certainly representative my current obsession with cats.

update, 2023: Looking at this a decade later it's very clear how much weaker my entry is than the other skulls, particularly the black one in the lower left and the two ivory ones, center. C'est la vie.