One of my passions is literacy. I ran a not-for-profit adult literacy organization from 1997 to 2006. I left that position, choosing to follow a different path, but am still involved doing training and consultation. My literacy colleagues have embraced the "artist" me and often call upon me to bring some art influence to the literacy world. So when the Provincial literacy organization decided to honour the memory of Freda Hudson, an individual who made a significant contribution to literacy, by awarding a pin each year to a remarkable volunteer, they asked me to design a pin. So far 2 pins have been awarded and this year the recipient is more of a "pendant person" than a "pin person" so I made a pendant instead. I do not know the identity of the recipient yet. I will know tomorrow at the presentation ceremony.
Below is my concept for the design:
The design itself is a plant: roots firmly in the ground, and sprouting a "flower". This motif represents growth and implies something organic which continues to evolve. Freda's initials are worked into the roots to honour the foundation that she laid in our literacy community and to emphasize that many of the developments we have gained are "rooted" in her literacy work. The "flower" suggests an open book: a symbol of knowledge, learning, and literacy. The "leaves" are designed to suggest wings, a symbol of the freedom that we gain from having knowledge and skills.
As Freda was indeed a precious individual who shone brightly and reflected her brightness, silver was chosen as the material for her commemorative pin. The piercing technique used (cutting the design into the metal) honours the wearer of the pin as it allows the colour and texture of their own clothing to show through and interact with the pin, thus highlighting their own individuality and connecting them to Freda at the same time.