A BLOG ABOUT ART, FASHION, PHOTOGRAPHY and TRAVEL BY KIM PIOTROWSKI
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Valentine's Day - Collecting
This day doesn't hold much significance for me personally in the romantic sense, although I hope to work on resolving that this year. My mom never forgets to send me a card and a little something to mark the day. Thanks, mom! I love you too. ♥
I thought this might be a good day to share my collection of "sacred hearts" or "bleeding hearts". They are religious tokens of thanks left at altars as reciprocation for an answered prayer, or as wish a for a speedy and miraculous healing. These votives are typically made from tin, copper, silver, or sometimes gold and are known by different names to different cultures: milagro in Spanish, ex voto in Latin, and tamata in Greek. They can also made in the forms of various body parts: arms, legs, kidneys, ears, eyes, feet, hands, breasts, etc.
I happen to collect hearts or hearts with hands, and it all started by accident. Several years ago, I bought two or three milagros at a Mexican store in the SoHo section of NYC as decorations for my room. Soon enough, I started seeing them everywhere. I bought some in New Orleans, in Italy, and at a flea market in Athens, Greece. Friends have even brought them back from their trips to Mexico or Peru. Thanks to online auctions, my collection has expanded even further. I now have over 100 of them on the wall of my apartment; all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Each one is different and holds its own charm. Every time I see a new one, it just means that my collection will keep growing.