Breast cancer

One of the legends from the Greek mythology about the Amazones tells us the story about these combative brave women, who got their name from the Greek word ‘a-mazos’, which means ‘without breast’. They were excellent horse riders and archers and to optimize their archery skills one breast was amputated so it wouldn’t bother them.

I wanted to make a necklace specially for women who had to deal with a breast amputation, in a way that they could feel strong, feminine and beautiful. So, I used the damaged part of the body to turn it into a necessity to be able to wear this piece of jewelry.

The whole bunch of strands wouldn’t stay in place when it is draped over a breast.


necklace for a woman with one breast
peel of mahogany seeds, gold leaf, linen
picture: Dolph van Stapele

Additional text during exhibition in The Fundatie, the Netherlands:


A jewel.
For a woman.
Haughty and proud.
Of whom she has become.
After the loss.
Of a breast.
After winning.
Her power.

In 2012 Mon Art Gallery, Curaçao organized an exhibition around breast cancer. I wanted to make piece for all the women on the island, so I started with a preliminary study: a necklace in white porcelain, with silver luster and silver swarovsky.

So, after my plan seemed ‘to work’, I made the piece I had in mind.

A lot of breasts in the skin-colors of the women on Curaçao. Losing a breast is terrible, but the pain inside is even worse. But I see these brave women standing up after facing this drama, telling me that in the end, although they lost a precious feminine part of themselves on the outside, they gained beautiful values inside. So, I wrote all these values at the back of the breasts in gold, pointing to the inside while wearing, where the real hard work took place.

A breast or 87…

necklace/object front
porcelain, swarovsky, nylon, gold luster
h36 x w34 x d1,5cm

Each challenge we decide to confront in life helps us grow into better, stronger, and more interesting human beings. Our greatest challenges grant us our greatest gifts. It is in difficult times that we learn who we really are.  Each delicate breast in this necklace stands for the numerous hardships we go through (not only breastcancer) and the many gifts we receive in return. We often do not instantly realize what our personal battles have produced. The true gifts are hidden and written in gold luster at the back of each breast. Love, peace, trust, joy, sincerity …

Additional text during exhibition in The Fundatie, the Netherlands:

A breast or 87…
The colour of skin
Of so many lost breasts.
So many people, so many dramas.
Many kinds of sorrow
to learn to cope with.
And then: the inner enrichment.
In gold, worn on your heart.

I still sell these single pendants, which are often bought as a present for a friend, who needs some attention…