Hat Pin

December 12, 2011


I have a container packed with precious items, not richly valuable but irreplaceable to my heart. I was looking for a particular broach, which I constructed using reticulated silver, mounted on a piece of ebony. What is reticulation you ask?  Sterling silver has a rather low melting point.  I had a fabulous silversmith professor who educated me in melting silver with the utmost care so that it begins to ripple and form patterns and one day I made an extraordinary reticulation, I should not take all the glory as melting is a bit like backgammon –half luck and half skill.  The hills and valleys of this silver piece would be accentuated nicely with a darkish background. I sliced a piece of ebony to look like a shadow of the reticulated silver.   Ebony is an oily wood so if it is rubbed long enough a sheen forms on the surface that lends the appearance of soft and aged wood after I was satisfied with the wood’s surface, I mounted it with hidden silver prongs.  This piece had no commercially made parts, so it holds nice memories of Professor Ollie Vallaine and his awesome instruction of jewelry making skills.  I wanted to wear this lovely broach on a date.   Sorry I have no pictures of the broach, as I did not find it.

Instead, I rambled across this sterling silver hand crafted hatpin, that I bought 40 years ago as a weapon.  In 1970’s, I walked a lot in the inner city and I had long, massively thick, deep dark brown hair that I often twisted atop my head, relieving my neck from hot humid summer days. This hatpin held my hair in place and should the need ever arise it could easily be accessed and pierce the privates of a perpetrator.  If I must say so, it looked so smashing against my dark hair.  Since winter has arrived, I have been thinking much about hats lately. They are a pain to wear because once on, it is a whole day commitment because the hat smashes my hair into a frightful appearance. Therefore, when I rediscovered this treasured hatpin, I wanted to share its craftsmanship and attention to detail.  I have over stated throughout my blogging, the perils of my aging camera so the details are slightly vague but enough shows that you eye can fill in the gaps.

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