19 March 2009

the imperfect balance

Whenever I can, I make molds of twigs and bark pieces, of leaves and other gifts from nature to use on my fine silver pieces. I love recreating nature in its element (snags and all) when handcrafting jewelry. Nothing in this world is perfect and in this imperfection lies a simple beauty. Although symmetry has been known to exhibit qualities such as good health and beauty (in faces, gemstones, etc.), there also lies hidden allure in asymmetry.
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience, of asymmetry, simplicity, and intimacy. It centers around three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. Story of my life! ;)
I find it fascinating that asymmetry has also been used in aesthetic design techniques throughout the centuries to balance proportions in a more inconspicuous way. People use it in floral arrangements, Feng Shui, etc...

If you've ever heard of the Fibonacci Sequence (building upon the sum of the preceding two units) or the Golden Ratio, using asymmetrical proportions sometimes just feel "right" to the eye. Its proportions can be found everywhere, in flowers, trees, galaxies, shells, tornados, even our inner ear. I love this concept--it played a major role in shaping my artistic philosophy, but I'll have to save that discussion for another entry...

I've been fortunate to come across some amazing stamp art to incorporate into my fine silver pieces. These stamps reflect the beauty and asymmetry of nature and I'm so excited to integrate them into the design of a piece! I ultimately want to start creating stamps with my own sketches, but until then I will graciously incorporate these lovely reflections of nature's imperfect, but brilliant art. Here's one of the stamp designs. Love. It.

11 March 2009

new on-line boutique

What a sigh of relief! I finally set up one of my websites, my on-line boutique http://www.laurentreejewelry.etsy.com/. Of course I only have my semi-precious stone and vintage pieces up right now, but you get the idea. All my silver pieces are currently at the East End Gallery (located at 1101 Navasota St, Austin, Texas 78702). I'm making about 15 additional silver pieces to be finished in about a week, but I'm trying to dedicate those to local venues, especially since SXSW will be here before you know it! Man, there's just not enough hours in the day...

10 March 2009

carved affection

One of the latest inspirations for my fine silver jewelry has been carved initials into wood. That may seem a bit ironic coming from a full blown tree-hugger that a defiled tree trunk would be so beautiful. But so many funky and amazing things happen to trees and, like our skin, tree bark is supremely remarkable in its recovery. I've seen trees grow into and out of rusted cars, around fences, and even over signs. Some tree funkiness...
For the most part, I think of carved initials on a tree as a kind of tattoo or funky scar, a history of love embedded in nature's solemn guardians. Only when profanity is involved or when someone kills the tree do I get upset. Some love scars...

So be on the lookout for my latest idea...personalized carved initials in a fine silver piece of bark. And how in the world is anyone supposed to do that without a website? Well, it's coming. I should have a first draft in the next two weeks. In the meantime, Etsy is my goal.

UPDATE (4 June 2009)
Here's my first stab at interpretation with my husband's and my initials...
Carved Initials on Bark