New Oyster Jewelry Designs
My silver Oyster Jewelry Series has been so incredibly popular, I have expanded the collection to include new earrings, necklaces, pendants, and bracelets. I am very excited about these new additions to my oyster jewelry line and spent a lot of time on the designs, construction methods, and wearability of each piece.
What started out as a pair of earrings for a corporate commission based on the Lowcountry oyster has developed into a full collection of original and thoughtful jewelry. When first approached with this corporate gift for a group retreat at Palmetto Bluff, I wanted to create a jewelry design that was a contemporary, abstract interpretation of a Lowcountry theme that mainly is approached literally and cliche. When I began drawing the designs, I focused on designing the oyster shape as organic with enough information it was recognizable but not so much that it was a literal regurgitation of the real form.
I choose square silver wire for the construction, because I wanted the contrast of something organically shaped with geometric material. The four sides of the wire catch the light beautifully and highlight the detailed, hand formed shape of the oyster. The smooth, high shine finish is integral to the design, because the slick surface reflects the light to emphasize the form. Each wire oyster is crafted entirely by hand, which is a labor intensive and time consuming process. The wire shapes look delicate, but in fact they are very strong and durable due to the tension put into the wire from the hand forming process.
An oyster develops characteristics unique to the waters in which they grow, a metaphor for how place can shape an artist’s work and how Charleston has influenced my artwork. The design has elegant, clean lines that are based on the exterior contour of oyster shells found in Bull’s Bay, just north of Charleston. The shape and repetition of the units in several designs reference the continuous connection to the saltwater marshes surrounding Charleston. By interpreting the form to the essential shape, I came up with a completely original and new design.
Charleston has influenced my silversmithing design of home functional objects since I moved here from Charlotte fifteen years ago. It has been a fun, out of my typical element experience to design an entire jewelry collection inspired by a Charleston theme. As I am sure you can tell, I am very excited about this body of work and hope you will be as well!
To view and Shop the entire collection, visit the Jewelry category of my online store. Thank you for your interest in my work!