The N-exlace and Taking on the burden of other lost loves.


The N-exlace was created in response to how the emotion of a lost relationship could be processed through the creation of an artefact.  Before working with other peoples stories I wanted to use my own experience of a lost romantic relationship to analyse and experiment with making techniques that felt appropriate.  Love letters and photographs were sourced, reread and looked at.  Diary entries found the time period were used to provide a contrast between what I’ve deemed the ‘public’ and ‘hidden’ side of the relationship.


He gave me a locket as a gift was used in casting experiments and this produced a negative ‘ghost’ silicone sphere, which I have kept as a memento of the relationship.
The making process used traditional handcrafts that were labour intensive and physical allowing each stage to be thought through thoroughly whilst actually making.

What I also discovered was when printing the leather, I thought of the times within the relationship, receiving the letters and writing my diary and analysing continuously.  The emotion that was felt whilst making the piece was quite intense.  I wasn’t entirely sure whilst making what form it would take.

Printing on the leather was experimentation and the acetone left the letters distressed and faded in parts, adding to the feel of the memories being faded.


The piece took the form of a necklace, very literal to the cast locket embedded within it but the leather began to symbolise my own skin that had been imprinted with these memories, but that had now been processed and could be removed from round my neck.  The making process allowed for therapeutic analysis to a certain extent.

Whilst collecting the stories from other individuals I have concluded the most expressive and emotional way of this is the written word.  I have interviewed a number of people verbally, but the emotion is not conveyed as intensely as through the personal letters.  This may be due to people being able to think and write what they are feeling rather than feeling pressured.


As a maker, reading these collected stories has been a harder experience than I anticipated.  Each one is filled with heart-felt emotion for lost loves and it has felt like I am taking on other peoples emotional burdens.  Through the making process I hope to relieve myself of these burdens as I create a new lost love artefact.

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