Friday, September 27, 2013

Pinterest. My new Friend

Pinterest was launched March, 2010, but oddly I did not discover Pinterest until  early 2013.  Pinterest is a wonderful tool for collecting and storing digital images, Blogs and links on a 'Board' you create within an account, online.  For non-business Pinners like me, it's Free. 

My current count of boards is a total of 70 with more than 11,000 Pins.  I know this will increase as I discover new ideas and interests.  I am a serial Pinner.  What is that you ask?  Well, I pin everyday.  If I'm waiting for my coffee to be made at a coffee shop. . I'll pin whilst waiting.  If I'm standing in a queue ... I'll pin whilst waiting.  It's a magnificent time filler and you get to see or learn about so many things. 
For my beadwork I draw inspiration from everywhere, thus I am able to 'store' my inspiration sources through the use of these 'Boards'.  My interests are many and varied and include Art Deco Jewellery, Antique Jewellery (Jewelry), Art Noveau Jewellery, Colour (Color) ways from Nature, Bow Chic, Textile Embellishment, Chanel, Soutache Jewellery, The Great Gatby 2013, Paris and Audrey Hepburn,  and Swarovski (to name a few).  I love being a Pinner, it is a really great past time. 

My Beaded Beauty (wearable and non-wearable art) Board is my most followed board, with over 1000 pins (images) I have currently more than 700 followers.  Who are followers you say?  Quite simply they are fellow Pinners whose interest is also beaded jewellery.  They, the fellow pinners like to repin Pins to their Boards or simply just watch the pins in their Home Feed when they feel like visiting Pinterest.  At this moment in time collectively 1652 people (followers) actively follow what I Pin to my Boards, this increases every single day.  I get a kick from new followers joining my Pinterest gang, they're more than welcome to join my Pinterest sojourn.
There are Pinners who have more than a million followers!
The current tally for worldwide Pinners is more than 70 million! Pinterest have a Blog, Facebook, Press Page and are based in California.  
A few weeks  back whilst looking through Pinterest and following threads I came across a particular Board that fell under the genre title of 'History'.  I followed the thread and discovered daguerreotype post mortem portraits which were very common in the nineteenth century. Mortality rates were high in these times, particularly for infants and children.  Early Victorian's preferred to have an image of a deceased loved one rather than have no memory at all.   Because photography was in its infancy it was extremely expensive to be photographed, thus usually this was the only photograph taken of a family member.  Eyes were painted on closed eyelids, colour was added to imges to add a 'life' like look to the decesaed. Custom metal frames were used so that the deceased could stand upright for their photograph.  Sometimes, 'alive' family members were included in the photograph along with the deceased. Some may say creepy .. but I say it was their way of honouring their loved ones and having a lasting momento.
As a pinner I have followed countless threads within Pinterest and consequently I have seen images of  the beautiful Evelyn McHale, the woman who ended her life on the 1st of May 1947 by jumping from the Empire State building and landing on a parked car below.  Photography student, Robert Wiles took the last sad image of her which was then published in Life magazine at the time.
I have seen JFK's body on an autoposy slab following his November 22, 1963, assasination. I have seen grizzly crime scenes, the shocking scene of Sharon Tate lying dead following the Manson's murderous rampage.  I have seen the image of an overweight woman who suicided in a bath of water. A body allowed to decompose for a consierable length of time in water is not a sight that many could stomach. I have seen dismembered and decapitated bodies that the Mexican Drug Cartel's were responsible for, learned about "The Body Farm" (a plot of land where bodies offered for science are left so that Forensic students can learn about exposure and the process of decomposition).
I have seen images of murderers and learned and sometimes seen image/s of their horrific crimes.  Seen colour photographs of car accident victims, pedestrian accidents, suicide by gunshot or hanging.  I saw a moving image of a grief stricken, Anna Nicole Smith cradling her beloved son Daniel after he had died from an overdose. Holocaust photographs, graphic colour autopsy photographs, human genitals in plastic bags and exhumed bodies.  I discovered and saw photographs of the atrocity known as the Nanjing Massacre, by the Japanese against the Chinese in 1937, unpublished images of 911 and a post mortem photograph of Osama Bin Laden,  
The list of horrific images is long as was the time I spent watching the macabre photostream on my Ipad  Why did I look?  I was driven by nothing more than curiosity.  I imagine I have seen everything there is to see of this sort of imagery on Pinterest now.  I will not look again.  Following the marathon of looking at the images I was left with a sickness in the pit of my stomach that would not go away for a long time.  The images plagued me in my dreams a few times, but mostly it just left me with a heightened sense of mortality, a deep sense of sadness for the victims photographed and a restless feeling of being unsafe. 
Despite my journey into the macabre and disturbing I still value and adore Pinterest as a wonderful form of Social Media.  I know that there is a dark side, but I have closed that door.
Interesting Pinterest facts on Wikipedia

Note: I work hard to include the Artist along with the image on my Beaded Beauty & Soutache Boards.  I apologise for any misrepresentation of an image that may be yours.  Please contact me to rectify any discrepancies.