The idea behind Allegory Gallery‘s Inspired by Reading Book Club is to read that month’s book and make something inspired by it. This month, the book is Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. I read this series years ago in college; it was fun to revisit it. I liked it the second time around too. The characters are real and generally sympathetic. This book is told from the perspectives of various characters; my piece is based on the character Mary Ann Singleton. She’s a young woman from Ohio who goes to San Francisco on vacation and decides to stay. She is looking for something else in life than the traditional path she was destined for in Cleveland.
I thought about the type of jewelry that was popular in the late 1970s when this book took place. There was a lot of minimalist gold and silver. I remember the big names in stores I went to being Napier, Monet, and Trifari. I remember wanting a Speidel ID bracelet with the passion of a 12 year old. So those were the things rolling around in my head when I made this bracelet inspired by those things but made for today.
I used a Tim Holtz Idea-Ology word band as a bracelet bar. The quote, “live the life you’ve imagined” is what Mary Ann was trying to do, as well as advice Mrs. Madrigal, landlady and sort of den mother to her tenants, might have imparted. I made the band part of the bracelet from gorgeous wobble beads by Heather Powers of Humblebeads. I included two charms. The heart is a nod to the Speidel ID bracelet of my youth that this was inspired by, and the vintage mouse charm is a reference to Mary Ann’s friend (and fellow tenant) Michael “Mouse” Tolliver.
Thanks to William and Andrew of Allegory Gallery for these great book club challenges! This was a really fun challenge that took me back to the jewelry of my childhood. Have a look at what other participants were inspired to make on the Inspired by Reading Book Club Facebook page.