Klediments

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Klediment is a word my mother taught me. She told me it was a word that she heard her grandparents and aunts and uncles use in the hills of Appalacia where she grew up. A Klediment is a word that describes an object with great value – but not monetary value. It has the value of memory and sentiment attached to it. I first understood the word when she related the value of this sewing machine to me. It was her mother’s and it may possibly be the only personal item she had of her mom’s. She learned to sew on it. She tried to teach me to sew on it too. It was more valuable to her than money – it’s meaning was priceless.

As a photographer it occurred to me that I could photograph some of these personal things and try to create a portrait of someone without actually showing their image – could you get a sense of who they are just from the things that were precious to them? Can the photos tell the story better than words?

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Barbie

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Minnie

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Harold

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Max

Sometimes I find everyday objects like this evoke more in me that a photo of someone I love. I pick up my grandfather’s keys and touch the places where his hands have worn the metal bare and almost sense him there with me.

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10 thoughts on “Klediments

  1. I’d never heard of klediments – learned something new today!
    This reminds me to photograph some of my parents things.
    We have boxes and boxes to go through, after cleaning out 60+ yrs of stuff from their house.

  2. I love this post! a new word, beautiful photos and being a scrapbooker/possible Magpie in a former life, these objects are truly precious. Last semester I did a poetry course and one of the types of poems we did was ‘an object poem’; you chose something that belonged to someone who was dear to you and write about the object because that can say so much about a person, even if the object itself seems insignificant and of no value šŸ™‚

  3. This is such a beautiful way to remember people. It makes me want to take photos of klediments around me too! It would be so interesting to take photos of my daughter’s klediments every six months or year as she grows up. šŸ™‚ I especially love the dog tags here. They remind me of the special pet tags I’ve got somewhere in all my stuff from animals I’ve loved in the past.
    So are you going to do a photo collection of your klediments? šŸ™‚
    I’m waiting to move (soon I hope) into long-term public housing, and when I do I shall bask in unpacking all my stuff and sorting it all out and culling a lot of it for opportunity shops (thrift stores). Perhaps I shall take lots and lots of photos of klediments then. šŸ™‚
    This is a wonderful Blog post. Such a great idea, and it truly gives us a sense of these people and what mattered to them. Thank you so much for sharing with us!
    Love from Rach.

    • Thanks Rach, I started a series of these shots for a Sketchbook project last year. I have lots more, just tried to boil it down. I like getting close to things and shooting then in new light and new angles.

      I like the idea of chronicling things over time as a child grows up. Could make a very interesting series.

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