A few years back, the John Adams television miniseries was being filmed in the area where I live. A metalsmith friend was asked to create jewelry for various scenes. One scene involved John Adams giving his wife, Abigail, a scrimshaw pendant which is housed in the Adams Museum in Massachusetts. Since ivory can no longer be legally used by artists, my friend asked if I could reproduce it using the faux ivory technique in polymer clay. Of course I could! And since there was so much detail in the carving on the pendant, I could instead incorporate xerox transfer and save a boatload of time. The finished piece was placed in a gold plated sterling silver setting with a beautiful gold chain. And as is always the case, the scene in the miniseries wound up on the ‘cutting floor’.
I asked my fellow collaborator if she would mind if I made the pendants to sell. They would not include such an elaborate setting, but rather be more simple. She said to go for it.
To make a long story short, which includes the fact that my sister is a docent at a historical plantation, the museum heard about my pendants. And now for about six or seven years, the John Adams Museum includes the pendants in their shop. And I am tickled pink!!
By the way, although I have never seen the actual piece on which these are based, I know two amazing facts about it. First, it has a glass cover, even though it is ivory. Second, the reason for the cover is that the leaves in tree are made of human hair. Amazing!