by Kristine Schroeder.
(Saint Germain, Wisconsin, USA)
I made Theodora out of sterling silver wire, sterling silver beads, a mother-of-pearl cabochon, cultured pearls, and blue chalcedony beads. It’s an ID-style bracelet, with chainmaille going around the wrist, and a hand-sculpted double hook clasp.
Making Theodora triggered a memory for me, and set me on a journey. I began the bracelet by fabricating the frame and setting the MOP cab, then I laid the frame down on my workbench to contemplate my next move. Suddenly, the memory of a tiny mother-of-pearl ring set in sterling silver washed over me…
As a little girl, like my mother before me, I wore a mother-of-pearl ring that had belonged to my great-great aunt Teddy, who died in the 1918 flu epidemic at the young age of 18.
From that moment, the bracelet became a tribute to Teddy.
I’ve begun a journey of learning more about that branch of my family. It’s bittersweet – while it’s fun to imagine their reactions to things like the first powered flight, or the Earth’s passage through the tail of Halley’s Comet, I realize that during Teddy’s lifetime, American women didn’t have the legal rights or variety of choices we enjoy today.
So here’s to you, Theodora Pinckard. You are remembered.