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Photo of Barnswallow Design, a company who makes memorial products to preserve legacies for generations to come.

Memories On A Chain

When Swani Landry began making jewelry for herself people commented on the unique pieces she wore, and asked her if she’d make something similar for them. Barnswallow Design was born. A few years later, with the completion of a metal-stamping course, her repertoire extended to include the power of words.

Children’s names,  birth dates, meaningful phrases… even latitude and longitude of favourite places have been incorporated into her work.

These same elements are also often included in the memorial jewelry she makes for clients looking honour of a lost loved one.

Photo of Swani working on her memorial products.

When she works on a memorial piece, she doesn’t focus on the heartbreak of the loss, but rather creating a tribute to the person who has passed away. Often she finds the materials she was drawn to turn out to hold a special significance for the recipient. When that happens, “I’m riddled with goose bumps,” says Swani.

Her clients have told her the jewelry often becomes a talisman for the recipient. “They hold on to it for comfort. When the recipient wears their memorial piece, it can also become a gateway to talk about their loved one, if they’re asked about the necklace their wearing, for example.

“Grief can be hidden – you may be expected to carry on as if everything is normal, when you may want to scream, ‘Hey, I’m suffering here!’ A necklace can offer a chance to tell a story, to keep someone’s memory alive.”

One of the most difficult necklaces for Swani to make was for a mother who lost her baby girl at the tender age of six months. One of the mother’s closest friends approached Swani to design a necklace for the mother to wear to her daughter’s memorial service.

Photo of Swani and images of the memorial products that she produces to preserve legacies for generations to come. Celebrate lives well lived.

“I was beyond touched, but also very scared,” wrote Swani in a caption accompanying a photo of the necklace she posted to Instagram. “I wanted to make sure I honoured [them] as best as I could. I try to pour my heart into every piece I make, but I’ve never experienced an emotional reaction like this. I avoided making it until the last possible minute because I was so overwhelmed with empathy, mom-to-mom, that I couldn’t bring myself to make it. So I sat down to it and cried through every hammer strike, every wire twist, and cried and cried some more. I wanted it to be perfect.”

The words, “I will hold you in my heart till I can hold you in heaven” were stamped on a brass, hand-hammered disk. The piece also includes mother-daughter birthstone charms, a pink crystal charm to symbolize ‘daughter’, a crystal heart charm for their love, an angel wing charm on an oval-link antique brass chain.

Being able to create something that can help, even in a small way, is a privilege, says Swani. “It’s humbling to be able to provide a source of comfort.”

You can learn more at https://www.facebook.com/barnswallow.adorned

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