The Book of Ruth, September 2009

This was part of my mom’s Christmas gift this year (given early, I have problems waiting to give people gifts).  “The Book of Ruth” is a mixed media artist book made from my grandmother Ruth’s old jewelry box; it is a tactile, interactive piece with hidden and obvious text elements, which is why I can classify it as a book.  My grandmother died in the Beverly Hills Hotel fire the year before I was born, and I know Mom misses her every day.  I used the box and some of my heirloom and costume jewelry to make this.  I’m pretty proud of it, although I was disappointed when it didn’t make Mom cry:)


Cover:  Acrylics and gel medium, inkjet photo printed on handmade paper, sealed with encaustic medium and rubbed with wax metallic pigment.  Cover reattached to box using small nails I then wrapped with waxed linen thread also rubbed with metallic pigment.  Shown with two internal elements.

Inside cover:  Acrylics and gel medium, two broaches that were my grandmother’s, edited digital photo blended in with conte crayon.  The text is from the NIV Bible, Book of Ruth, a short explanation of the biblical book.

Tray:  Attached to cover using found jewelry.  Hand aged paper (distressing ink for aging and lettering) reads “The bonds between mother & child possess unforgetable strength and beauty” (and spell check just noted that I misspelled unforgettable!!  grr…)  Paper lifts to reveal a found bookmark printed with “Amazing Grace” (adhered with acrylics and gel medium), a broach with the four birthstones of Grandma’s kids, and a purchased locket with a photo of my grandmother and mom inside.

The side of the tray is stamped with the word Ruth, the back with the word Mother.  More text from the NIV introduction to the Book of Ruth is blended into the background using acrylics and gel medium.  Photo of mom and grandma, adhered with gel medium and blended with conte crayon.  Metal element from grandma’s jewelry collection.

Inside:  Two boxes are taken out to reveal more photos of my mother with her mother, father, and one of her brothers.  An admission ticket from some junior high performance that grandma attended, and a gold pouch from her jewelry collection are adhered to the bottom (acrylic and gel medium, conte crayon).  I removed the original music box from its housing and reattached it.  It still works, but I have no idea what it plays!

The pouch contains more family photos (adhered to acrylic painted watercolor paper for stability), a gold locket of grandma’s containing a picture of two of my uncles, and A Mother’s Prayer stamped onto parchment.

Shadowbox: Acrylics, found key and clock elements, photo of grandma, grandpa, and mom.  Stamped parchment scroll held together by one of my grandmother’s rings.

Watch box:  Acrylics on wood, photo of grandma and mom, scroll of aged handmade paper stamped with “Time is fleet and cruel but the memory of love remains”.  Scroll held together with my grandmother’s antique Bulova watch.


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