another tear catcher

•September 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A limited series completely glass (borosilicate) single tear catchers on various sizes of wooden (Douglas Fir) plinths are currently being sold.

final three – cuticle protector

•August 17, 2009 • 2 Comments

cuticle protector

cuticle ring small

cuticle ring large

cuticle rings

cuticle protector

text to come…

final three – husband stilts

•August 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

husband stilts

husband stilts01

husband stilts02

text to come…

final three – single tear catcher

•August 14, 2009 • 4 Comments

single tear catcher

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BoxHandle

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single tear catcher

One can record emotional experiences with the ‘single tear catcher’. Tears are stored in the vials, sealed with a cork, attached within the box with a black ribbon and a small scroll with important information is also held  above the appropriate vial with a ribbon.

Refer to previous posts to find the inspiration.

field trip to a cemetery

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Funeral April 2009

Getting dressed today was like putting on a costume to play a part; black shoes, black trousers and black shirt. It made me think of my past experiences with funerals. I even put on ties in those days. One always looks one best for the dead. Is it a sign of respect? Is it for the dead or for the living? As I was preparing to go it seemed less and less inappropriate. I had taken notes on who the person was and their close relatives. I went through a few things in my head in case any asked me who I was, “only met a couple of times and happened to come across the obituary when I was looking for the death notice of a friend of my family’s”. I convinced myself that it was entirely plausible for me to be there.

I looked outside, miserable, how appropriate. There was enough wind to annoy you if you are attempting to use an umbrella to shield yourself from the drizzle.

I arrived late and as I was asking directions from a man at the gate of the cemetery the question of how someone with my ‘story’ should be feeling and acting. ‘Should’ is a funny word in these situations. How should one act? There are always a range of relationships to the deceased at a funeral. Each of these relationships can have different reactions to the situation. Then there are the ones that surprise and are more emotionally overt or less than you would expect considering their connection. I didn’t notice anyone like that at this funeral.

When I got to the grave site the coffin was just being carried from the hearse which made me feel a bit self conscious. A couple of people looked at me with an inquisitive look but several people were looking around, as though they were either bored or just didn’t know to do with themselves.

I was standing at the back so wasn’t able to see everyone, even though it was not a big group. From what I could see, there seemed to be quite a few people who were rather indifferent to the situation. Most were dressed ‘appropriately’ in dark clothing.

As the minister spoke I couldn’t help but wonder if this way of speaking was part of the training. He sounded like almost every other minister that I’ve heard speak to an audience. This is based on the little that I could hear because of the wind, which had picked up, blowing through the crowd.

The funeral directors took note of people that were getting wet and produced several umbrellas in assistance. After the minister had finished speaking people started to disperse, but not before one man made a joke that a couple of others laughed at. From what I could tell, this did not produce any particular negative reactions in the crowd. One woman then made a point of connecting with a young man. She may have been one of the sisters of the deceased. Then a slightly older man came to them and made sure that they had a ride. He seemed to be ‘Mr Practical’ in this situation.

As people were starting to disperse I began to feel as though I would soon stand out, as I had nobody to talk to. Most other people were in groups of various sizes conversing with each other. So I decided it was a good time to make my exit.

My nose was running, presumably because of the wind and rain, however, it did remind me of the fact that when I was grieving a loss of my own a long time ago my nose ran quite a lot, seemingly as a substitute to crying at times.

secret laughter ring suggestion

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

While talking to a few people about the fact that it would be extremely difficult to do what I suggested with Secret Laughter Ring an idea came up. The components needed to record sound then play it back would make the ring a rather large object. One thing that could achieve the affect of laughter could be a vessel in which one could put something in that makes them laugh or at least smile.

For example:

laughter vessel ring

Any thoughts?

an honest comment

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I got an email the other day. It suggested that I was ‘objectifying’ grief. It said that it was ‘a bit like jazzing up a wheelchair or a zimmer-frame. It also makes a reference humour being used as a ‘crutch’ and that it was ‘silly’ and ‘distastful’.

While I didn’t totally agree with what this person wrote I do appreciate honest comments.

This was my response:

I really appreciate your honest comments.
Do you think that being able to talk about one’s thoughts and feelings about one’s loss is important to that process?
I’m not doing this project to take away anything from the process. My aim is to encourage a discourse around it, to show that it’s ok to express oneself during this process and in reference to the subject of loss in general.
Can you explain how you see this project/these objects as a ‘crutch’ please?
Why is it wrong to put humour in, often, uncomfortable subjects?
In reference to the comment about “jazzing up a wheelchair or a zimmer-frame”, I don’t see anything wrong with making helpful objects more beautiful.
I hope you can see that ‘jazzing up’ was never my aim.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Please continue to be direct and honest.

Matt

Feel free to add your own responses.

secret laughter ring ideas

•May 4, 2009 • 2 Comments

Here are some ideas on how the Secret Laughter Ring could look in the future.

What do you think?

trauma lingerie

•March 12, 2009 • 5 Comments

Trauma Lingerie

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Attraction and sex are things often left out of the public sphere of grieving. Trauma Lingerie is based on the realisation of someone that has experienced trauma being attracted to people that have also been through something traumatic in their lives. The printing of obituaries on these pieces allude to this connection.

care instructions

•March 12, 2009 • 11 Comments

Care Instructions


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sleeve

The Eat and Sleep Alarm has a direct relationship with the Care Instructions. They both relate to the idea of the support that friends and family can give. This product reminds the people around the grieving that they are human and have some basic needs no matter what state they are in. Much like washing instructions on clothes in format, this tag can be attached to a piece of clothing, inside or out.

Available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting this object for a while please leave a comment below.

numb knuckle duster

•March 12, 2009 • 7 Comments

Numb Knuckle Duster

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The Numb Knuckle Duster came from a chat about not expressing one’s anger as well as feeling numb. So, it has an aggressive outer appearance with its protruding spikes, while on the inside there are two more spikes that push into the wearer’s hand, particularly when they clench their fist.

Available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting this object for a while please leave a comment below.

extra safe necklace

•March 12, 2009 • 6 Comments

Extra Safe Necklace

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There are almost always objects that are or become special after someone has died. The Extra Safe Necklace portrays the experience of losing one of those special objects in the shape of a pendant. The clasp/padlock becomes the focus of this necklace.

Available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting this object for a while please leave a comment below.

cuticle protector

•March 12, 2009 • 14 Comments

Cuticle Protector

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cuticleed02

There was a person that found themselves picking at their thumb cuticles not long after a friend died. This nervous habit continues to this day. Since then several people have mentioned a similar habit. The Cuticle Protector is a basic metal covering ring that no longer allows access to the cuticles.

Available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting this object for a while please leave a comment below.

fear of moving knives knife

•March 12, 2009 • 4 Comments

Fear of Moving Knives Knife

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A woman I spoke to had the experience of a friend being stabbed to death when she was young. This seems to have created a fear of moving knives in front of her. The Fear of Moving Knives Knife is simply a representation of that fear. It could be too frightening or therapeutic but neither of these were a specific aim.

Available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting this object for a while please leave a comment below.