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Today I was reminded of the honest and genuine love of a child.  Children are often belittled amongst society because of a numeric figure that stands beside their name – however, children have taught me more about myself than my most respected university professors.  Children have a fresh and innocent view of the world around us.  Nothing is impossible.

This morning I witnessed the tears of three beautiful children who held much courage in speaking proudly of the unforgettable role their father had played in their lives.  We’ve all faced suffering in some form, and it can often tamper with our abilities to keep dreaming.  Disappointment, doubt, fear and uncertainty are all a part of our lives; we can let these feelings hinder our hopes and dreams or we can choose to move beyond our past and out from the under the weight of our future.  While this is much easier said than done, we should keep in mind that nothing good in life comes easily.  I’ve been encouraged immensely by the love I saw in the eyes of these young boys this morning – an honest and pure love only known to the hearts and minds of children.  One could feel the fear and uncertainty of what life was now going to be like without their father, but I had no doubt that amongst their fear lay an abundance of memories that have become a part of their character.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

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Our character is often built upon our faith, our perseverance, our attitudes and beliefs and our relationships.  Immaculée Illibagiza, a young survivor of the Rwandan genocide, is a living example of how faith can pull one through the most devastating and challenging circumstances.  Her story of terror, endurance, healing and forgiveness, shared through the words of Left to Tell, has become an inspiration and has drawn the attention of significant leaders and government figures. Based on her work with the Left to Tell Charitable Fund that seeks to support the children of Rwanda by rebuilding and restoring their lives, Save the Children would like to present her with the Save the Children Humanitarian Tribute for Peace and Reconciliation.  Save the Children seeks to acknowledge and give tribute to those who have displayed and exemplified an effort to bring peace and reconciliation into the lives of vulnerable children.

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Utilitarian objects have the ability to hold different connotations and discourses when placed within different contexts.  A spoon, for example, has been used in the context of fine dining, but has also been mass-produced in plastic and other inexpensive materials for one time use.  By taking a simple utilitarian spoon and placing it on the hand as a piece of silver jewellery, the value of the object increases both symbolically and aesthetically.   This spoon has been designed to wrap comfortably around one’s fingers, playing both a decorative and functional role; providing one with both an article of jewelry as well as an “on hand” tea spoon.

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Today I finally had the opportunity to photograph a few of my jewelry pieces from this past semester.  For some reason, our professors have this mindset that because they hold higher authority than us students, they are allowed to hold onto our work for months at a time - sort of silly I think.  Anyhow, I received back a narrative piece I fabricated in January; inspired by the childhood story Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.  Much of this story is about our imagination and how our thoughts and feelings are necessary elements of our development.  As a child is given the opportunity to dream and imagine, her character grows and matures, aiding in the development from child to adult.  I have chosen to create a visual representation of one of Sendak’s illustration through the construction of a sterling silver and brass haircomb.

In the past, I have usually asked one of my teenage sisters to model my work for me -but both of them found themselves much too busy today. However, I was in great luck when my beautiful eight year old sister said “I’d love to help you Jocey!”  She even came up with the idea of having her read the story Where the Wild Things Are while I took her photo.  She got a little bit giddy at the end, but I’m definitely sensing a modeling career in her future! 

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To begin, I’d like to share some of my creativity with anyone who has taken the time to read this.  I am currently studying jewelry and metalsmithing at Ontario College of Art and Design University where I have really come to enjoy the time consuming processes of the studio.  I designed and fabricated this brooch for a jewelry design competition that encompassed the core values of nostalgia.  Nostalgia is most often defined as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, more typically a specific personal association with the past.  When I reflect on nostalgia, in relation to jewelry, I find myself drawing inspiration from the significant role of photography and portraiture within my cultural heritage.  My grandmother’s home has always been a placed filled with eclectic antique frames containing the photographs of close relatives.  I have chosen to unite the art of jewelry and portraiture in hope of creating a representation of a family heirloom; a delicate object that can be worn close to the heart, as a representation of the foundation that has been laid for me through my family.  The photos portrayed in the collection of frames represent the values that have been embraced by my family in the past, and the values with which I embrace today.

To begin, I’d like to share some of my creativity with anyone who has taken the time to read this.  I am currently studying jewelry and metalsmithing at Ontario College of Art and Design University where I have really come to enjoy the time consuming processes of the studio.  I designed and fabricated this brooch for a jewelry design competition that encompassed the core values of nostalgia.  Nostalgia is most often defined as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, more typically a specific personal association with the past.  When I reflect on nostalgia, in relation to jewelry, I find myself drawing inspiration from the significant role of photography and portraiture within my cultural heritage.  My grandmother’s home has always been a placed filled with eclectic antique frames containing the photographs of close relatives.  I have chosen to unite the art of jewelry and portraiture in hope of creating a representation of a family heirloom; a delicate object that can be worn close to the heart, as a representation of the foundation that has been laid for me through my family.  The photos portrayed in the collection of frames represent the values that have been embraced by my family in the past, and the values with which I embrace today.

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I created this to share my heart.  As a creative outlet.  To be open, honest, and real.

For me, the last couple of years have really been a journey and a process; a time in which I have come to understand the power of grace and His unconditional love.