Friday, May 24, 2013

Mourning Jewelry from Hair and Cremated Ashes

By on Friday, May 24, 2013 5 Comments

The Victorians and people in past centuries were really big on what we today might consider morbid.  Hair jewelry was particularly popular in those days (see first link below for historical information). They were not only keepsakes but served as mourning jewelry for the family and friends of the deceased.

There are some modern artisans who continue to create designs using human hair. Designer Anna Schwamborn's pieces are a little more macabre as her creations are made not just from hair but incorporates the cremated ashes mixed in with black bone china (that's the black cylindrical parts).

Some of her designs include the black rosary beads and hair tassel necklace above. She also used tightly wrapped hair to create a unique focal.

She explains "the objects are supposed to be worn close to the body of the mourner symbolizing a lasting physical connection between two individuals even after death." Like the centuries old memento mori jewelry, her designs also remind people of their own mortality.

What do you think? Beyond morbid?  Perhaps this is not the way to mourn if it promotes the holding on rather than letting go?  Or would a lock of hair in a locket be more wearable?

Via Dezeen

Before You Go :
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. While this isn't something I would wear personally, I think it is a wonderful way to celebrate a remembrance for those who are comfortable with it. Not that different from using dried memorial flowers in beads, really (and I know some folk don't care for that idea, either). Certainly, as a jewelry designer, I would do my best to accommodate such a request in a sensitive and respectful manner. I would suggest an encased design, perhaps in resin, to ensure the stability of this organic material.

  2. So interesting! I love the concept...I love the bone china and ashes beads, what a marvelous thing! I don't know that I'd wear the hair without it being encased, it doesn't seem quite right for me. But more power to her, the designs are striking!

  3. Though the jewelry is beautiful and I can understand the sentiments behind wanting it, it would not be something I would wish to wear. I do not think it is overtly morbid, nor am I judging anyone who wishes to hold something of their dearly departed close to them. For myself I would prefer to reminisce and remember that beloved person through old photographs and loving memories.

  4. Well said. It is really up to the individual if they wish to wear something like this. However, I agree it is wonderful if a designer can indeed come up with a sensitive design to suit.

  5. Hmm. Not sure I would want to wear it - but I would not mind having something beautiful I could hang on a picture of my loved one, or just keep in a box to take out and admire when I need comfort.