In a recent Klimt02 newsletter, I found an item about the colored pencil jewelry of the Venezuelan artist Andrea Melissa Arias, and I decided to find out more.
Arias's pieces resemble miniature oil paintings. I admit, I'm drawn to the vibrant colors (which is why you won't see me showing you much in the way of simple silver jewelry on this blog).
Each of the works below is made with colored pencils and silver. Arias uses resin to bind the pencils together.
Here's how Arias explains the smudging: "I discovered during this process the unexpected mix of colors and marks made by the saw blade, resembling the way of drawing on walls - dirty, smudged and faded, like scribbling outside the lines." This playfulness is probably why I like her work so much.
With the ring below, Arias makes the actual shapes of the pencils a prominent part of the design. They're stuck together with such irregularity. There's even lots of lead poking out of the sides of the pencils.
The bracelet below is interesting because of the way the pencil tips seem to be floating in the resin in 3-D fashion.
You may be reminded of the work by Maria Cristina Bellucci, the artist who put colored pencil jewelry on the map. Arias's work is different; it's not so 'perfect'. In fact, she seems to take pleasure in using irregular shapes that, when put together, form a coherent whole, even if they don't line up perfectly. Plus, Arias's use of smudges and smears makes her pieces distinctive (as with the brooch below).
Arias acknowledges that she's not the first to do this kind of work: "I know that I am not the first and only one to use color pencils as an element for design objects, but my research was to transform the pencils into a new material at the same time preserving their function and history." The history is her memories of childhood and the way children play.
I'd love to hear how you like this work, especially in comparison to the colored pencil jewelry of Maria Cristina Bellucci.
You can see more by Andrea Melissa Arias at Klimt02.