Hair Art is jewelry and artwork created using hair as the artistic medium. It was created most commonly from the middle ages through the 1800's. It was believed that hair jewelry increased one's love if the piece was made using the hair of the living, and was seen as a way of wearing one's love if the person was deceased.
During the Victorian times, Queen Victoria wore many pieces of hair jewelry and it became very popular due to her interest in this old art. During this time mourning jewelry reached it's peak of popularity and there was great sentiment attached to it. There are many fabulous pieces still in existence today created during that time.
At one time hair jewelry was created mainly for the upper class who could afford to have custom made gold jewelry with precious stones. It wasn't until the later 1800's that the average person was able to find instructions and they could create these pieces themselves.
At one time the average person could buy the settings for these pieces. They were sold in the Sears Catalog I've been told. The design was pre-drawn usually on an ivory background and the person making the pendant would add their hair to personalize the piece for themselves.
The women of Mora, Sweden, became experienced in hairwork and their creations made it possible for groups other than the very wealthy to afford hair jewelry. Since they did not have the money for expensive findings, their jewelry was mounted with wooden beads that they covered with hair. There are many examples of their work in existence today.
Godey's Lady's Book was a magazine published in that time and it printed patterns and offered starter kits with the necessary tools for sale. Mark Campbell is the author of a book titled "Self-Instructor in the Art of Hairwork" and it has instructions on hair art and other crafts from that time period. These instructions enabled the average person to learn and create these pieces on their own
This antique picture is an example of the symbolism used by the Victorians. If examined you can see the doves, the dog, the trees, the hearts on the tomb and more.
Bird Winged Soul, Eternal Life
Bridge Linking of Earthly & Heavenly Realms
Conch Shell Reincarnation
Cross Love, Faith, Goodness
Heart Love, Devotion, Charity
Oak Tree Steadfastness, Life
Palm Tree Peace
Sun Shining Everlasting Life
Rose Love, Hope
Lily Eternal Life
Ivy Memory, Immortality, Friendship, Fidelity
Angel Guardian, Protection, Divine Love
Butterfly The 3 Stages of Life, Death, Resurrection
Fleur de Lis Flame, Ardor, Mother
These are many of the symbols you will find used in Hair Art.
You can design many unique pieces using some of these that will have unique memories for you and your family.
You can create a lasting memory that is special to you.
Many families have their own special symbols and meanings. That is how the Bremen Town Musicians came to be for instance. The red cabin on a lake is another example of a piece with meaning for the family
Acacia Immortality of Soul, Secret Love
Acanthus Heavenly Garden
Apple Blossom Preference
Bachelor's Buttons Celibacy
Camellia Reflected Loveliness
Carnation Admiration, A Women's Love
Crocus Youthful Gladness
Daffodil Regard, desire, art, grace
Daisy Innocence, youth
Hawthorne Hope, Merriness, and Springtime
Heather Admiration, Solitude and Protection
Heliotrope Devotion, Constancy, Infatuation
Hibiscus Devotion, Constancy, Infatuation
Hollyhock Ambition, Fertility
Honeysuckle Bonds of Love, Generosity & Devoted Affection
Hyacinth Unobtrusive Loveliness
Iris Hope, Power, Message
Jasmine Amiability, Sensuality, Grace, Elegance
Laurel Leaves Special Achievement, Distinction, Success
Lemon Blossoms Fidelity in Love
Lilac First Emotions of Love, Youthful Innocence
Lily of the Valley Return of Happiness, Purity, Humility
Lotus Eloquence, Mystery and Truth
Magnolia Love of Nature
Morning Glory Affection, Resurrection
Myrtle Love and Marriage
Olive Peace and Security
Passion Flower Elements of the Passion of Christ
Pine Fidelity, Fertility, Re-generation
Pineapple Hospitality, Good Host
Poppy Peace, Rest
Primrose Consistency, Early Youth
Rosemary Herb of Remembrance
Sage Domestic Virtues
Stephanotis Bride's Good Luck Flower
Sweet Pea Delicate Pleasures
Sweet William Gallantry
Thistle Defiance, Earthly Sorrow
Violet Faithfulness, Steadfastness and Modesty
Water Lily Purity of Heart
Weeping Willow Mourning
Willow Forsaken Love
Wisteria Welcome, Meeting You Means So Much To Me
Zinnia Thoughts of Absent Friends
This is a sample of a picture made during those times. It was done entirely from hair with the background tinted for color..
Fancy Dresser Box
Women would have a hair receiver on their dresser and save the hair from their brush and comb and place it in the hair receiver.
When they had enough saved they would make something special.
This is a watch fob made from hair. Most likely a wife or girlfriend created this for a gentlemen. It had a picture inside the locket of the lady whose hair was used in the creation.
We save a lock of hair from a first haircut as a tradition dating back to Victorian times when mourning jewelry as typically made.
This jewelry continues that old tradition and brings it into today's world while preserving the techniques of creating it. This ensures it will last for generations.
This jewelry can be passed down to future generations.