Dear Dolly is the passion project of Hannah Melville-Weatherbee, a Rhode Island based artist who works all day in a veterinary hospital, and spends each night in a tiny teal walled studio, creating tiny things. Dear Dolly was inspired by a family heirloom, an antique locket, once belonging to her female ancestor. Melville-Weatherbee describes that “by placing a tool for documenting within something as personal and as treasured as a locket, I hope to honor the women and girls who once wore these pieces, while I continue to record my own visual stories and encourage others to record theirs.”
All the lockets are vintage, some have stains or rust, some have aged differently on the back than the front, as they once spent years being worn against a stranger’s chest. I leave these imperfections on purpose, because they are part of the locket’s unique story. To them, I add a strong epoxy clay, acrylic, delftware inspired designs, a polyurethane varnish, and lastly, a tiny collection of watercolors, for documenting whatever the locket’s next owner deems worthy of recording.