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Respiratory Brooch - Differences Unite Us

Materials: Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, Enamels
Dimensions: 9" x 4" x 0.5"

I have created the respiratory brooch as a contour shadow of the herbs that are associated with healing respiratory illness. As breathing is a constant need and is in the background of existence, I created this piece to reflect the quiet essential quality of breath. The brooch is formed sterling silver, worn completely across the chest, emulating the herbs, which are highlighted with vitreous enameled elements and peridot (a stone associated with good luck and fortune) on the backside.

Photo credit: Mara Friedland

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.