The folding fan, the sensu, we think of as an innovative tool for keeping cool, but its history is much more involved than that. Fans were not originally created for cooling off or as pieces of artwork.
They were used for communicating messages and things like recording maps, textbooks, prayers, calendars, letters, and court announcements. They also communicated information about status among the ruling and Samurai classes, with more sticks in the fan signifying higher rank.
All of this makes me think more about this necklace and how the things we wear, adorn and surround ourselves with are always communicating—without us ever speaking a word. The message I take away from the history of the sensu is that what is practical can also be made beautiful. And that the beauty remains even after the practicality has long since faded away.
This gorgeous piece of tin comes from a vintage chinoiserie tin tray. Which means the metal is slightly thicker and more rigid than most of the tin I work with. The pendant is about 3.5" (84mm) in diameter and strung on a 18" length of steel 3.8mm ladder chain with a lobster clasp. The final necklace is about 20”, but can be adjusted to a shorter length.
Each piece of metal comes to me having lived a previous life--in some cases multiple lives! It is not unusual for the material to sometimes have scuffs, scratches, faded portions, and general wear and tear. If a flawless finish is important to you, please zoom in to the pictures here to look for imperfections that might be distracting for you.
All adaptive reuse pieces come to you neatly displayed on an upcycled card and sustainably wrapped ready for gift-giving.
Please contact me if you have any other questions.
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© 2021 Christine Terrell