Artist Susan Faye, a British expat in France, has always been passionate about animals, especially dogs. As a child she says she would bring home any dog she found roaming the streets but wasn’t allowed to keep them until at the age of 16, when her parents agreed she could bring home ‘Shonti’, a Collie/German shepherd cross. Abandoned at a local farm, she was led to her new forever home with a lead made of string from a hay bale. She became Susan’s much loved pet and when Susan moved to France, Shonti went too.
Shonti passed to doggy heaven in France at the ripe old age of 17. “Losing her was agonizing” says Susan. She went on to welcome Nell, Ryan and a little cat called ‘Titi’. Each time one of them left this world, “I felt my heart being ripped out” says Susan. And, she decided to look into ways of keeping her much loved, departed pets close to her again.
Perles Des Souvenirs
Perles des Souvenirs was born after much research into working with glass. Susan creates memorial jewellery in the form of beads that can be worn on a chain. The beads contain a tiny memento of your much missed pet, fur, a single hair or even ashes. “I treat them with the utmost respect” says Susan “I feel that when someone entrusts me to create a lasting memory, it’s an honour and a privilege…”
“I’ve found that these beads help with the bereavement process. They bring comfort for those wishing to hold onto a special keepsake”.
Susan has helped many people come to terms with their loss “One of my very first customers lost her lovely Labrador Suzie and requested a golden bead to be made. A little of Suzie’s fur is now infused in her own souvenir pearl to keep forever”.
The ethereal looking beads are coloured blue and green with mysterious looking squirls captured inside the glass, though customers can choose a colour that reminds them of their pet.
Susan says clients always have a special story to tell about their pet and she really understands the need to create something special in their memory. She can design a bead to suit or create something bespoke.