The Alligator + Cypress Bangle
These are the core bracelets for The Swamp Collection.
A hand formed 6g half round sterling silver bangle, displaying a fine silver diamond of the texture from an alligator that I've found as road kill many years back at Lake Martin, in Breaux Bridge, LA. I’ve held onto this gator for years waiting until my skill set would do justice to paying honor to its life. A bead of Cypress Wood, that I've stained with a New Orleans specific blend of herbs and spices rests in a 14k gold bezel atop the diamond, a nod to the art of kintsugi elaborated upon in the "Damaged Goods Ethos". With simple stamping to bring your eyes into the diamond, and not distract from the beauty and detail of the natural texture, and my makers initials stamped inside. This bracelet is 5 1/4" long with a 1" gap.
Bones of The Collection Ethos
Through all four collections I will have a base collection. Each “location/element” will have two main textures, for the swamp that is alligator and bald cypress tree bark. Each of those textures will have matching series of rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. All simple in design, but carrying so many well thought out details and messages. The rings and necklaces are in series of three: plain, with stone, and with element - for the swamp that is AIR. The bracelets and earrings are in series of two: plain, and with stone. All comprised of natural textures that I found in their environmental home, if with stone, they’ll be hand collected, and each piece with a ribbon of gold woven somewhere to symbolize the beauty and strength in our imperfections, and ability to grow past our life’s obstacles. 🖤
Damaged Goods - A Collection Divided
I am beyond pleased to finally begin unveiling my new works, a full collection of one of a kinds, in four parts. Likened to, and symbolizing the four elements: earth, air, fire and water; there will be collection correlating to each: The Forest, The Swamp, The Desert, and The Ocean. Which brings me to the title of this release, “Damaged Goods”. I started attempting to learn a new skill set three summers ago, and drew up the base of this collection then, but when I returned home to New Orleans I found myself deep in the darkest chapter of my life. Lots of intense trauma, and just a need for survival overpowered any ability to creatively focus on new directions. I had spent a long while attempting to keep all of my plates spinning, but many dropped. I’ve spent the last year and half very seriously working to properly mend those broken plates, which I’ve related on more than one occasion to the Japanese pottery technique of Kintsugi, the art of repairing cracks and damage with gold - to add to its beauty, strength, and value. Which is something I genuinely believe in: when someone actively works at healing their wounds, their trauma becomes growth, understanding, and more value. I wanted to use returning to this collection as a form of healing, so I applied these metaphors and techniques into my original drawings, and I adore the shape its taken. They maintain the integrity of being a true talisman of nature, made directly from materials I’ve found myself, be it the textures I use in the metal pieces or in the stones and shells I set, but also, each piece will contain that metaphor of gold bonds woven throughout to bring the wearer’s life more strength, growth, and value. I hope you treasure wearing these pieces as much I have making them.