Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jewelry for Mother Nature

"Mother Nature's Jewelry: Beachcomber's Necklace"
mixed media encaustic on coffee filters

"Beachcomber's Necklace" (detail)

This series of sculptural jewelry has been both insightful and challenging.  After experimenting with a few different light weight and transparent papers I settled on white coffee filters.  They are surprisingly durable, yet semi transparent and malleable.
They also offered me the pleated edges that resemble the wavy edges of seashell.

Incorporated into the necklace are some very tiny shells I found on a beach along Lake Erie as well as some
I found in Jamaica.  I like that the shells came from places both near and far from my home.  The paper shell shapes were dipped in encaustic wax which enhanced the transparency of the
paper and acted as the adhesive for the small shells.  The writing on some of the shells is from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book Gift From the Sea.  I have read this book a number of times at different junctures in my life and find her words
to be encouraging and life affirming.

Using some quotes from Lindbergh's book was not the inspiration for this piece, but once I started making the
paper shells her writings immediately came to mind.  Her words speak to solitude and strength,
to living quietly (when one can) and to recognizing one's own inner stillness.  My use of white...white paper and white fabric, references the ideas of stillness and solitude.  The wax provides strength to both the materials I am working with and the ideas behind the work.

This work became a meditation for me.
The repetition of the making of shells...
The smell of the encaustic wax which was almost like church...
The stitching and coiling...
It was the creative process at its best for me.

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