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The seedpods, flowers, buds and twigs in my botanical series are collected from my walks in the woods near my home. They are lost wax cast silver and gold originals of the actual flowers and branches that I gathered. This commitment to "live casting" insures that I must continually forage for or grow in my garden new material to be cast. Having my studio at the Curve Gardens is a wonderful source of inspiration.
The beauty of this technique is that each nature casting is entirely unique. By pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible with this process, I have captured very detailed organic matter, I think not yet seen before in metal. Each season, sprung from the live castings, I offer a number of new and limited edition production items.
I use plants as my source because of the natural beauty inherent in all plant life- the perfect repeating patterns and intelligence of shapes. I attempt to reveal the inner workings of the plant, so that this inner, often hidden, beauty may be transmitted to the wearer.
I’m a California girl living in western North Carolina. I learned to use my hands as a metalsmith/jeweler in craft school in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Learning a craft gave me a wholeness in a new way and offered a path to follow.
Karl Blossfeldt’s black and white photographs of plants and seedpods inspire me. The intelligence of shapes is endlessly fascinating and seems to point to the plant’s consciousness.
Years ago, my favorite poet told me that I must learn the names of the flowers, rivers and trees in my surroundings if I was ever to write good poetry. Those words sank in and indirectly led me to this work of studying and casting plants. I think there is poetry in my work, it comes from continued observation and the premise that beauty has meaning.
All of Mani Designs’ products are made in the U.S.A. and include recycled/reclaimed silver.
Vermeil is a solid gold layer over sterling silver. This allows for the color of gold without having to use as much mined gold. I welcome customers’ old gold and silver for use in new designs. Non-fluoride flux and citrus pickle are used for cleaner emissions in the studio. I use 100% post-consumer packaging.