Monday, December 1, 2008

Inspiration...the root

There is always a reason why we choose the paths that we take. My jewelry work has evolved quite a bit over the last few years, but certain elements remain the same to me as they were the first day I discovered them. I feel grateful to those images and forces that have stayed in my mind's eye and try to always create work that makes people feel happy, confident and comforted...
My most significant influence is ornate indian may not really be able to tell from my work, which is stripped down to the most basic interpretation of the designs in my head, but I am inspired by the intense colors in indian jewelry. I grew up in an area of New York where there were many indian shops - the beading on the saris and the smells of the stores have stayed with me. The jewelry was always embellished with stones bead or bezel set very close together. There was always a strong handmade feeling to the pieces and they were worn almost casually by the women but seemed so regal to me! In my work, I do try to create pieces that are special, but that a person can reach for every single day and feel completely comfortable (and a little glamorous)...
Another path opened up as I was cleaning out my stash of lapidary journals several years ago (they were taking over our small Manhattan home). One magazine fell open to an article on a wire artist (up until that point, I foolishly decided that learning to bezel set and form sheet was soooo much more sophisticated than wire work and bead work). I literally read the article on this artist 3 times before putting the magazine back on the shelf. After that day, I did everything in my power to learn all about this amazing talent - Lynne Merchant - and how she came to create such dramatic and earthy pieces out of wire. I was able to take a class from her a couple of years later and grew more in that 2 day period in my approach to design, than in the 2 years prior.
The third road opened in another class - this time with Vicki Eisenfeld. What moved me most was that she treated wire like thread and showed the class how she weaved with different colors of gold to create a variety patterns. I realized then that I could create my stories using any medium that I chose and my only limitations would be those that I created for myself. So now I don't think of any limitations!
In the last couple of years, my focus has been on communicating my thoughts in the simplest, easiest to understand way - so that my work transcends least that's my goal. I love playing with positive and negative space and infusing designs with pops of color here and there, but it must remain organic, real, grounded.
I have developed a stripped down style that I feel is elemental and lush at the same time. I hope that you like it....
What are your greatest influences?

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