Monday, February 18, 2008

Great Ideas in Crafting, #436.7b: Hair Wreaths

While we have been staying with my parents in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of salt Lake City, I have been trying to take advantage of each sunny day to take Sawyer on a stroller ride. I would love to do this in Logan, as well, but until I purchase a "stroller-to-sleigh conversion kit" (patent pending), this is an impossibility due to the accumulated snow that will never, ever, ever melt.

As you might guess from the name, Capitol Hill is quite a hilly neighborhood. Walking there reminds me of touring San Francisco, but when I was in San Francisco I didn't have a stroller to contend with. Some of these hills here are so steep I think I might never get the stroller to the top. Then, on the way down I have horrifying visions of the stroller getting away from me somehow. So, between the uphill and the downhill portions of one walk last week, I stopped at the top of the hill and visited the Pioneer Museum which is run by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. I thought I had been there as a child, but one step inside told me I was thinking of somewhere else. I had not been here before.

The DUP website boasts that the museum is "the world's largest collection of artifacts on one particular subject". I'm not at all surprised to hear about this impressive(?) distinction, because this museum is full of stuff like you wouldn't believe. Say you found a pair of spectacles that belonged to your great-great-great-great-great grandfather, a Mormon pioneer of 1847. You could take those spectacles and offer them to the DUP, and it seems they would day, "Yes! We would love to put those spectacles in our museum!" And they would take them and put them in a glass case with 270 other pairs of pioneer spectacles. So it is with quilts, baby clothes, false teeth, teapots, dolls, shoes, and...whatever those things are on the wall that look like decayed flower arrangements. What are those things, I wondered. Are they made of black silk ribbon? Are they truly decayed flowers? They really look gross, like they haven't aged well since pioneer times.

Since the pioneer museum is not really well-curated, I could find no information on these wall hangings until I moved on to another section of the museum and encountered a glass case labeled "Hair Weaving". It contained jewelery, accessories and floral arrangements, all made of human hair.

Yes, I said hair. A pastime I was unaware of until my visit to the museum, hair weaving was a popular decorative craft of the Victorian Era. One common practice was to make a wreath out of the hair of loved ones who had passed away.

Perhaps it's fortuitous that I learned about this craft right when I entered the post-partum hairloss period. All my post-pregnancy friends and I could make a wreath out of our falling out hair!

One word: Ew.

Hair wreath example. This one is quite pretty compared with the ones I saw.

1 comment:

  1. ewwwww! Sounds like a great Christmas gift! "Hey, I made this out of my hair!" funny stuff