Friday, January 30, 2015

Inspired by Reading Book Club: Into the Wild January Selection


ATTENTION POSSIBLE VISITORS.
S.O.S.
I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH, AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE. I AM ALL ALONE, THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU,
CHRIS MCCANDLESS
AUGUST ?

Our selection this month, Into the Wild, is a sad story of an idealistic young man.  I tried to focus on the positive aspects of what Chris McCandless attempted to do when he gave away his money, cut ties with the materialistic world and embarked on adventure.

I chose several quotes from his journal as inspiration and created a piece of jewelry that he might have worn, or at least, summed up for me the purpose of his life.
I was especially taken by his quotation from Thoreau at the beginning of Chapter 6
ANZA-BOREGO 
 "No man ever followed his genius till it misled him.  Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles.  If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal,--that is your success.  All nature is you congratulation, and you  have cause momentarily to bless yourself."    Henry David Thoreau, Walden or Life in the Woods
This  passge was highlighted in one of the books found with Chris McCandless's remains.

Here is what I made:  Two pendants strung on leather cord.  I made the pendants on steel forms that I had on hand and used soft solder to give everything a rustic look a la Stephanie Lee's Homesteader's Metalsmithing Revamped OnLine course
.

I used this map of Alaska cut out for the 2nd pendant because it seemed that McCandless believed that the key to his search lay :  in the wild of Alaska

On the back of the pendant with the map  cutout I put these words from Thoreau to sum up what McCandless was attempting to do.

This pendant is supposed to represent where McCandless felt the answer to his mission lay--  in the woods of  Alaska.



                                                       The necklace assembled.

Please visit the other blogs where participants posted their take on the book.  You can find them at our Facebook Page HERE






















7 comments:

  1. A really engaging book! Your piece is perfect representation of the book.

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  2. Love your necklace, Mary! The rustic look of the pendants is just awesome and it's cool how you used both the map and Thoreau's words.

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  3. Love your second pendant it reminds me of a key! Great interpretation and lovely work!

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  4. Absolutely beautiful and such a great representation of the book.

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  5. I love that quote too! Your piece is something I think Chris would wear. I love the use of the map and the key pendant is perfect!
    Rachel

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  6. I love all of the different layers! You captured the images perfectly.

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  7. What fantastic pieces! I really like the pendant that you created and the key with the texture and solder is awesome! I can see exactly what you were going after. Nicely done as always! As far as the book... I really tried to like Chris and his search for healing by giving everything up and going into the wild. The problem that I have is that his challenge for himself wasn't so much of a challenge. As the book outlines, everything came easy to him. From his success with his summer job, to school, to easy relationships with random people he met along the road. The challenge of going out into the wild wasn't a surrender to the primal and to the unknown, as he sort of knew it'd be temporary, and it was just close enough to civilization that had he not succumb to the wild potato seeds, he could escape. It felt really arrogant to me and self-indulgent. It felt like the angry child who stalks off and hides until he gets bored with his self-punishment and punishment of others. I wanted to like the search for self... the search amongst the trees, rivers, and mountains... but the search at the cost of others... not so much. Anyway, I think you've done a wonderful job. Thanks so much for participating!

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