The above earrings were an experiment I finished today during the last day of our Wood Jewelry class, a two-day workshop I've been taking with incredibly talented artist Julia Harrison at the 92nd st. Y in Manhattan. Julia makes absolutely breathtaking, carved wooden figurative jewelry:
brooch in maple, gouache, lacquer, wax, nickel, magnet.
"I look for the stories being quietly told by human bodies: a child’s pout, a furrowed brow, a flash of cleavage, a clenched fist, a fading bruise. Our bodies express and illustrate our desires, needs, and concerns. We are our own ornament; my work draws attention to this relationship. Most of my pieces are hand-carved from hardwoods or fruitwoods, such as maple and cherry. I find wood to be convincingly fleshy and a pleasure to wear. It is smooth and slightly warm, and, like our bodies, can be bruised or marred by experience."
I first met Julia back in 2005. We were both featured in an exhibition at Julie Artisans' Gallery in the city entitled Body & Soul. When I heard about her wood jewelry class I immediately signed up because I admire her work and because I thought it would be fun to play around with a medium so vastly different than what I'm used to (wood could not be more opposite than plastic Barbie dolls!) It's nice to go out of one's comfort zone and just play.
I definitely would like to fiddle around more with the many fun techniques Julia taught us. She was a fabulous teacher; a wealth of information, very thorough and forth-coming in sharing her knowledge and skills. If you have a chance to take a workshop or class with her in the future, I highly recommend doing so!
Check out Julia's jewelry blog here. Also check out her "sweet travel" blog, which explores another one of her many varied interests: sweets!