Sepia Saturday 178: Faces with Drama


sepia saturday 178This week’s Sepia Saturday image is a dramatic image of a young woman against a dark background. My thoughts flew immediately to the cover of my Kunkel Family History book, designed by local graphic artist Vanessa Schulze from photographs of my Kunkel great-great grandparents.

For years I’d been researching this family and writing up their story was in my “gunna” pile. One day I decided it would be a major life regret if I didn’t buckle down and complete it. And since I was going to write it, it seemed only appropriate to have a hard back cover that would last for ages and become a family heirloom. I had some feeble ideas about the cover design but I couldn’t believe the huge difference my daughter’s contact made to the final product. The faces of George Mathias Kunkel and Mary O’Brien gaze almost confrontingly from the darkness of the background. You can see the strength of pioneers in their faces.

Kunkel book cover crop

One of the greatest thrills of my life was seeing my book in print and holding it in my hands. Not quite up there with my marriage or my children’s births, but pretty good all the same <smile>.

For all that Mary’s face seems as if it should be the less dominant, her steady gaze is what catches my eye first. And I can’t help wondering if I can see her eyes two-toned as mine are. You can read a little about her here

There are lots of references on my blog to the Kunkel family but this post reveals how I finally handled the roadblock (or mental block?) I’d had about describing George Kunkel’s departure from Dorfprozelten in Bavaria. It was clearly indicated as a hypothetical story but based on the facts of the village which I’d visited a few times and read about in the local history.

Or you might be interested in learning a little about how this pioneering family celebrated Christmas, and the Bavarian traditions that George brought with him, from this story.

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21 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday 178: Faces with Drama

  1. The front cover looks great. Yes she looks like a very strong lady with a sly sense of humour. She does dominate and I am drawn to her more than George.

    I understand the emotion, pride and satisfaction of first holding your book in your hands. I experienced it also when my book was first delivered. We have been able to preserve the memories, stories and facts surrounding our ancestors/family and our names will be recorded and remembered for generations to come.

    I could have used my front cover for Sepia Saturday this week too as the cover is a collage of family faces over 5 generations.

    • Thanks for your comments Sharon. I agree that Mary looks easier to know than George but I have a soft spot for him just the same. Congratulations on your family history too….it’s such a thrill isn’t it, and a gift to posterity as well as a great sense of accomplishment.

    • Thanks Angela for your kind words. I used to think I got my slightly “odd” eyes from my paternal grandmother but this photo of Mary makes me wonder.

  2. A wonderful posting with such a powerful image for your book cover – and very different from anything I have seen of other published family histories. I can fully understand your pride and satisfaction on achieving publication. I have only had my own material spiral bound at a local printers, but it is amazing what a difference it makes to see my efforts in final form.

    • Thanks Sue! I think having our family histories written up in whatever form is a great gift to our current families, and hopefullyl the future.

  3. I was excited just looking at your book cover! Very nice job! I liked how different their eyes were — his straight on and strong; hers, more connecting, questioning. Or perhaps I am just imagining — and telling myself stories as I am wont to do.

  4. The sepia image is wonderful. Well done. I am enjoying the family pieces that are writing. They make me smile wistfully. And because of your creativity, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award–a creativity award.

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