Thursday, 11 July 2013

Kiama's Charm - Tribute Trail

I always liked the idea of treasure trails and leaving something behind for someone else to find, like Kiama did with the messages she left on parked bicycles. As the idea for this tribute trail in the USA only came to me a few days before we were going on holiday, I didn't have much time to think or prepare anything.
So I got an old Tupperware box an filled it intuitively with 22 pieces each of the following materials:

Empty sewing-thread reels (I never throw them away) they have so much history and so much potential. To me they look like the holder of a scroll and could tell several stories. The colour of thread it carried, the projects it was used for, the identity of the sewer who used it. For me the reel also connect my life to that of my mother and my daughter Kiama, passing on the love of sewing and creating from one generation to the next.

A variation of 22 wooden coloured beads from the time my daughters were small and we liked to make wooden bracelets and necklaces together.

Rectangle coconut bead pieces from a broken bracelet from Kiama which we found in a draw at her student room in Norwich. Her DNA might be still on it!

Red feathers. Red for the Love which connect us all.
My father-in-law used to collect some of the feathers of his chickens and dyed them in all kinds of colours with the intention to use them on his fishing trips on his boat on the English Channel around Guernsey. In tidying up the house, after his death, I took several bags home with me.
Going to America, thinking Native American Indians, I had to take some feathers with me.
To me feathers symbolise wind, flight, a lightness of being, a tickle, soft, spirit, a whisper....Kiama

22 Golden plastic snowflakes cut from a cheap Christmas decoration. Something glittery, sparkling, like her eyes, her laughs.

Some yards of blue cotton yarn - a leftover from a jumper I knitted in 1986 during the breaks of my shifts on a hospital ward in Breda in The Netherlands. The jumper was for a friend, John, who I secretly fancied and who later became my husband and father of my children. This August we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Some yards of red/white string. Broken red - broken love. If I remember well, I got that string from a fellow textile artist and friend, who had also lost a child, suddenly and still so young. With this string I want to show my love and connection to all mothers who have lost a child. We are not alone.

A reel of strong red sewing thread to connect things together.

I also put a roll of double side tape, a set of labels, a role of plastic magic tape and a sharpy pen in the box.

Last but not least I added 22 torn strips of yellow dyed cotton fabric to write on and wrap around the empty thread reels to make it into a scroll. Originally the fabric was from a light blue bedroom curtain from John's flat in 1986, which I dyed yellow in the 90's (it didn't turned green, but it wasn't a clear yellow either). I then made 'new' curtains from it for the girls bedroom in our house in Canterbury.

If you click on the photo it will zoom in so you can read the text I wrote on the strips.

So this is the story of the materials I used to make up Kiama's Charm. Whilst we were cruising through Washington, Oregon and California I was, some of the time sitting in the back, assembling  2 charms everyday for them to be left behind somewhere on the way.

In my next posts I will show the places where we left them.


Jill said...

Catherina - this is great - it makes a wonderful lasting record of the trail you left on behalf of Kiama ...her spirit and joy will live forever...

Gina said...

This is such a wonderful idea. I hope you will get contact from some of those who picked up the charms.