2ETN was commissioned to make their first Lover’s Eve piece in 2009. A reclaimed 14kt gold Snake Ring with previously used pearls, sapphires and diamonds, that formed a frame to house our oil painting of a lover’s eye shedding a tear. Two months later the same client commissioned a necklace. This time we used an Eisenberg Original Brooch from the 1930′s and created a lovers eye in graphite in the center, and used vintage Czech glass and sterling silver for the necklace. Both pieces are in the photo above.
Quickly after these two commissions, Lady Lavona From the blog Cabinet of Curiosities, wrote a post on our work. 2ETN is asked frequently about the meaning behind these pieces. We think Lady Lavona provides he best description of their meaning and we thank her for her generosity in this post in regard to 2ETN’s work:
2ETN is designed and created by Pamela Tuohy-Novinsky and artist Edward Novinsky…an artistic match made in heaven! I’m particularly crazy about these gorgeous one-of-a-kind ‘Lovers Eye’ pieces! Portrait miniatures were the photographs of their day, and were tiny paintings of family, loved ones and of those departed and were usually extremely personal remembrances often set in jewelry and worn close to the person. Miniature portraits of just an eye were often referred to as a “lover’s eye”. In this case they focused on only the eye, often represented with eyebrow and lashes. A wisp of hair, the suggestion of side burn or the bridge of a nose would hint at the owner’s identity but never reveal it. These were often exchanged in secrecy between lovers involved in a love affair of the clandestine variety. The anonymous eye portrayed emotions such as Bliss, Envy, Serenity and Passion. (The eye after all, is said to be the window to the soul!) In the 18th century, if you couldn’t afford ivory, you could commission less expensive paintings on vellum, a paper thicker than parchment. The tiny painting was then placed in a gold or silver setting, wreathed with jewels and sometimes with hair under crystal or glass on the reverse. The jewels chosen for the setting were symbolic too. For example, a wreath of garnet and turquoise pansies with pearls…the pansy is a pun meaning “think of me” from the French word pensée. The turquoise, owing to its color, was symbolic of the flower “forget-me-not,” and the pearls symbolize tears. 2ETN’s Lovers Eyes are as captivating, evocative and romantic as the ones created during 18th century!