The "Wood" show just opened at Velvet Da Vinci in San Francisco, and it looks to be a great one -- all different kinds of new wood jewelry by 26 artists from around the world.
What I like about these pieces is that a lot of them don't even look like wood. Take the "Vessel" brooch below that's made of wood, paint and silver by Daniel Di Caprio, whose work is inspired by plant and animal anatomy. This piece is so perfectly sculpted and painted that it looks like a barnacle-covered shell that's been smoothed by the ocean.
"The Mountain #5" neckpiece (below) is made of wood, shell, and paint. The contrast of a colorful shell attached to a circle of differently shaped pieces of painted wood is stunning. It's made by Edgar Mosa, a Brooklyn, New York based artist, born in Lisbon.
Mosa says: "I became interested in finding alternatives for the passing of time, searching for natural materials that encapsulate a rite of passage...: the rings of growth in wood, the layers of colorful nacre in shell, the blooming of roses..."
Both Julia Harrison and Gustav Reyes (next two artists below) also have work on display at the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin. The "Out On A Limb: Contemporary Wood Jewelry" show runs through June 17, 2012.
Julia Harrison, who created the "Pops" brooch below, is a Seattle-based artist and writer. Harrison is known for her eye and mouth brooches that often have a humorous edge. There is so much expression in this carving, it's as though you're actually looking into someone's eye.
Gustav Reyes, who made the "Ad Idem Ring #1" below, is dedicated to preserving nature's infinite beauty. In this spirit, he re-purposes salvaged wood, hand forms his pieces using a cold bending process and then finishes them with beeswax. I love the sculptural aspect to his work, the sensuous curves and his inclusion of a piece of the wood in its natural state.
"Red Spiral" bracelet made of wood and paint is by Flora Vagi, who lives in Budapest, Hungary. Vagi likes to work with organic materials, as they all change with time. How can you not be struck by the glorious color and roughly rounded curves of this piece? I like that you can see the knots and lines in the wood.
This show makes a great case for the appreciation of wood jewelry. The variety of styles and techniques featured is pretty amazing. You can see more pieces from the show at Velvet Da Vinci.