"Saint Peter's Basilica" pendant
For this project we had to design a pendant that was inspired by architecture. I chose Sait Peter's Basilica, from the Vatican City in Rome. After having spent the entire summer of 2014 there, studying the history and architecture of the city, I was fascinated by the thousands of rich layers of history that were embedded within the Basilica, both literally and metaphorically. And these layers were what I chose to represent in my piece.
The history of the design and construction of the Basilica is highly fragmented. Few of the most important architects that made significant interventions on the the realization of this project, under the reigns of different popes were Dona Bramante, Raphael Santi, Baldassarre Peruzzi, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Carlo Maderno.
I thus decided to layer the architectural plans of these architects in chronological order, using the position of the dome as the hole for a rivet that went through all the pieces and held them together, since its position is the only consistent and unaltered element of the Basilica.
This pendant was inspired by the internal structure of a beehive, which is made up of a group of hexagonal cells called the honeycomb.
For this project, we had to create a cuff that conveyed some sort of power. I decided to look into the cultural significance of jewelry, historically in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. A common theme that I found to be very interesting was the jewelry served as a form of cultural control of maturation and of the aging process. Each stage of personhood was defined through its own standards of beauty and through unique decorative techniques. The purpose of jewelry was to transform individuals safely from one stage of life to another.
I, thus, decided to create a very personal piece that encompasses the power of all those life stages in one. Each layer represents a transition or transformation that I have undergone throughout my lifetime. I consider it a celebration of individuality.