Off to Brighton on Friday for the festive holidays! Today I had hardly any students in, had finished the charms for the SCC show and have nothing that I can really be doing on my two big projects ("Fashion:Victim" and "Future Legend") so I picked up a nut from the old West Pier in Brighton, a beautiful Victorian pier which had a theatre at the end and which has been allowed to fall into disrepair following an arson attack by a company which didn't want it to be restored:

 

Brighton West Pier at Low Tide

 

The nut was found on the sand under the pier at very low tide once and is heavily corroded, like the rest of the structure:

 

Remains of the West Pier

 

I made the nut into a ring, set with black onyx on the top and a haematite behind. The shank is made from a piece of steel found on a different beach and not from Brighton:

 

Brighton Rock - Ring - 1

 

Brighton Rock - Ring - 2

 

Brighton Rock - Ring - 4

 

A friend of mine who used to live in Brighton pointed out that it is a kind of "mourning ring" for the pier. I like to think that Pinkie, the amoral gangster anti-hero from Graham Greene's novel, "Brighton Rock", might wear it with his sharp suit.

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Comment by Brigitte Martin on December 22, 2011 at 7:24am

Vivienne Westwood, my favorite !!

Well, I was in Brighton as a kid, to me it was just heavenly back then.

Never read Brighton Rock, but now I probably will.... I am always appreciative of good book recommendations.

Please give my best to Dingo :-)

Comment by The Justified Sinner on December 22, 2011 at 1:48am

1977 - The year punk hit the mainstream, "God Save The Queen" by the Sex Pistols at number one in the charts and banned on the BBC... The first "boy band" of the modern era, I suppose, ruthlessley exploited - literally - to death by Malcom McLaren. An era which gave us the fantastic Vivienne Westwood but during which I can only imagine Brighton seemed dirty and run-down, waiting to reinvent itself in the 1990s.

Have you read "Brighton Rock"? It is a truly great piece of writing. And if you've not seen the 1947 film - NOT the dire remake from last year in which you can see Dingo's house! - it is one to look out for. A brilliant piece of British film, up there with "Peeping Tom", "The Bed-Sitting Room", "These Are The Damned" and "The Draftsman's Contract".

(Having written that list, I realise that each one of those films is utterly bleak, offering no hope of redemption for any of the characters at the end!)

Comment by Brigitte Martin on December 21, 2011 at 4:36pm
Great story. Love it. Reminded me of an Easter vacation I once had in Brighton as a kid. I stayed with an English family as an exchange student and we went to the pier and played at the penny slots.

Math homework: It was the year of Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee. I still have a tea mug to prove it.

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