Last year I did an assemblage for my older daughter Bronwyn about her grandparents during WWII. My younger daughter Jenny and her partner Noah have just moved into their first house and I thought it a good time to do a family assemblage for her too. I had a perfect weathered shelf that I painted in pinks and greens, using crackle paint on the top surfaces around the shelves and arcrylic craft paints on the backgrounds and sides. Green was my parents' favourite colour - almost every room in my house growing up was green. And pink went with several of the family heirlooms included in the piece. The following descriptions are taken from the letter I wrote to Jenny that accompanied artwork.
The fourth shelf shows your Great Grandfather Guy Clifford Ewart, Grandma’s father. He was about three or four in the picture around 1883-4. The little pink cup belonged to his mother Harriet Ewart (your Great Great grandmother) and when he was young and not feeling well, his mother would let him use it to drink orange juice.
The third shelf has a picture of your Great Grandma Blanche Jackson Ewart, Grandma’s mother. The picture was taken in 1887 when she was 16 months old, 16” long and weighed 16 pounds. She was a month premature and very small at birth. They put her in a shoe box and rested her in the oven the first day to keep her warm. Even when she a grown woman she was only 4’11’ tall. The pink toothpick holder belonged first to her mother Catherine Jackson – your Great Great Grandmother, then to your Great Grandmother, then to your Grandmother, then to me and now to you.
The second shelf contains a gavel and stand that your Grandpa Paul made for Grandma when she was president of the Volunteer Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary during the ‘60’s.
The top shelf holds a cigarette case that your Grandma Becky used during the late ‘40’s and early ‘50’s. It has her initials on it and Grandpa got it for her. The picture of them was taken during WWII in Grandma’s backyard on
Soldano Street in Azusa