I received an email from one of our Soldiers in the middle east. He wanted me to make a special set for him: something for “everyday wear” ( a pendant) and for formal wear (a clip to be used instead of a tie – and cufflinks). This was to be of a particular design he developed over the years. His instructions were very clear: the basic design was to be placed in the middle, wreathed with knot-work and nobs and surrounding the symbol he sent me he wanted some script: “CHOSAINT SAOIRSE” in “nearly legible” writing, something you would need a magnifying glass to read. The areas surrounding the symbol and the script was to be enameled to give a strong contrast between the embossed writing and raised symbol.
The jewelry was to be intended to represent his own personal affinity to his work, his duty and his country, he gave me a few words to focus on while I was working; however in time he blessed me with a more full explanation for the symbol, script and over all feel to the pieces.
In his own worlds:
“The piece is a symbol of a guardian or defender. “One who stands ready.” Usually to defend those who are not necessarily helpless, but who are not warriors. I think it rather fitting for a soldier. The inscription translates along the lines of “Protect Freedom” When I was younger I couldn’t really explain why I felt drawn to the job I have, but I did it for 10 years, then I got out of the military and went into civilian life for about 5 years. I did fine there, but I never had the sense of being in my place in the world.
“I rejoined the military a couple years ago, and I found my place again. It took a lot of introspection and self-discovery, but I do what I do because I *am* my brother’s keeper, and my family is made up of anyone who lives free, at peace with others. I and those like me do what we do so others don’t have to. That is what this design means to me.”