Amanda Li Hope
“This memorial pendant contains the ashes of my client’s beloved dog, Honey. I never met Honey, but I know she was a cherished family member and was even a part of my client’s wedding ceremony when they got married.”
“The brief was to create a two-tone yellow and rose gold piece that was minimal, delicate and with a diamond.
For inspiration, my client sent me a photo of Honey and asked if we could do something to incorporate the outline of her ‘distinct and gorgeous’ ears. Of course, we could. I mean, look at those ears!”
“With the brief in hand, I sent my client a few initial ideas, all with the ear shape in a vertical orientation.”
“It was my first time working with cremation ashes, and I found it calming to do so – an unexpected and pleasant surprise.
“In the end, the client chose the rectangle version but preferred a horizontal orientation, which I love because the piece unexpectedly becomes a peaceful and reflective landscape. Honey’s ashes are appropriately placed behind the polished, rose gold outline of her ear.”
MEET THE MAKER
Interview with Amanda
What was your experience like, personally and professionally, working on this commission?
It was an honour! I felt very privileged to be asked to design and make something so special, and also to be entrusted with their dog’s ashes (which by the way, I treated as a precious item like I do my gemstones.)
Did anything surprise you about the process of working on this collaboration?
The materiality of the dog’s ‘ashes’. It was more like coarse, white beach sand, than grey ashes!
Also, my client first contacted me right after their dog passed, but as soon as we schedule an appointment, she cancelled on the day. She still needed time to grieve, so I waited until she was ready, which was about a year later.
Are you open to taking commissions in memory of a loved one from other people?
What advice do you have for people looking to commission a custom piece?
Definitely speak or video call the artist first. Because it is such a personal piece, make sure you feel comfortable in the presence of and communicating with the artist.
MEET THE MAKER
About Amanda Li Hope
Based in Clerkenwell, London, Amanda Li Hope creates clean, precise and compelling handcrafted fine jewellery. One of the first Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold licensees, she combines her ethical values with her background as an architect. Responsibly sourced materials, proportion, meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship define each piece of her jewellery.
The Grief Gallery: London Design Festival 2021
GRIEF GRIT GRACE
The Grief Gallery is a project by Grief Grit Grace and curated by Charlene C Lam. Visit www.griefgritgrace.com for more resources and information about my approach to grief work.