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Oregon Series: Opalised Wood Moss Ring - Differences Unite Us

Materials: Sterling Silver, Petrified Wood with Opal
Dimensions: 1.5" x 1" , size 7

Focusing on the ever present moss and lichen which grows throughout Oregon, this beautiful Sterling Silver ring features petrified wood that has opal running throughout. The ring is all hand fabricated.

Petrified wood is the remains, preserved in rock, of prehistoric trees. It is formed over thousands of years, as mineral-rich water seeps through the wood of a tree. The minerals in the water, such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and silica salts, either replace or enclose the tree’s organic (living) matter and eventually harden into stone, in a process called petrification. Botanists (scientists who specialize in the study of plants) find these types of fossils to be very important since they allow for the study of the internal structure of extinct plants.

Photo credit: Eben Waggoner Photography

Mara Friedland
Portland, Oregon. USA

Adornment and plant life fascinates me. Throughout the world plant life, especially medicinal plants are highly valued. Flowers, specifically, reflect universality because across countries floral displays and bouquets are integral symbols for major life events. In my work, I enjoy creating jewelry that references both flowers and medicinal plants of the garden. The individual healing plants are replicated in the design of the pieces, with the plant life’s cultural significance embedded within.

In addition to the influence of plant life, I strive to clearly link my pieces to sculptural forms, making both the front and the back of the pieces equally important. Often the wearer has a treasure on the back, as well as what is shown to the viewer, providing the wearer a stronger connection to the piece.

Herbs, spices and medicinal plants are the talisman of cultures. The jewelry pieces referencing herbs have a strong connection to passions- for plants and for healing. Instead of simply serving as beautiful status symbols, the pieces serve as powerful external signs of personal expression. To best understand my pieces it is important to discover the historic and cultural roots of floral symbolism and healing plants.

I see my works as offering the viewer a close look into plants, focusing on the details of nature. When observing flowers and plants, the smallest features are some of the most fascinating and important to my work. For example the heart of the plant is its flower and reproductive organs are found in the small center of the flower. The ability to capture the essence of the plant is important to me and allows me to share a vital aspect with the wearer and the viewer of my jewelry

Ganoksin hosts the jewelry list Orchid, with over 13,000 list members from all over the world, speaking from a wide range of technical and aesthetic experiences. The exhibition theme grew out of a desire to celebrate the creativity encompassed in this wide variety.

Artists were free to interpret the theme in any way they chose. Each artist could submit up to six pieces. Interpretations include uniting different materials into one cohesive form; intellectual and emotional “unitings”, where the meaning of the piece unites multiple concepts; the uniting of time - past, present and future; and a number that focus on the harmony created when uniting multiple materials and/or concepts.

The work submitted involved a wide range of jewelry techniques, from very traditional to very cutting edge, as well as using materials from traditional precious metals and gemstones to “re-purposed” and “up-cycled” materials.

The exhibition showcases 330 images chosen from entries from over 111 artists representing 26 countries.

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Serbia, Spain, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, USA, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands

Many of the participants began their interest in jewelry at a young age. Some are relative newcomers to the field, and some have over 35 years of experience as professional jewelers and goldsmiths. While some grew up in families that were goldsmiths, and followed in those footsteps, others only began creating jewelry as adults.