Laura M. S. Brubaker
you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world
for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people
in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I
want them to see it
whether they want to or not.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe
I grew up surrounded
by O’Keeffe’s paintings and was always drawn to the details that she
focused on as well as her beautiful use of color. When making jewelry, I enjoy taking things that are small, and often overlooked, and using them as the focus of my work. I love to find the hidden beauty in things we see everyday and don’t give a second glance to.
Nature has always been a huge inspiration to me in part because growing up I lived in the Brown County, Indiana forest. All through my childhood I watched my father forge metal creating stylized flowers and leaves. I have had a life long relationship with metal but I have really pushed myself recently to think outside of metal. It has been a lot of fun for me to make jewelry with new things like wood, cookies, and resin.
I am intrigued by texture and think about that when designing jewelry. Most recently things that come from trees have been the focus of my work. I have started using bark, leaves, acorns, and pine cones and plan to continue to do so. In some cases I am representing things like leaves but, when I can, I prefer to use the actual objects as they came from nature. I
also really enjoy using existing recognizable objects in unexpected
ways, causing the viewer to question what my jewelry is made from.
Looking back on my
childhood, I see that jewelry has always held sentiment, from the charm
bracelet that belonged to my mother when she was in high school (each
charm with a special meaning or memory for her that was passed on to
me) or the much cherished amethyst necklace that was brought out for me
to wear only on the most special of occasions with the promise it would
be mine “when you’re a big girl”. While these pieces are beautiful in their own right, I love them for the memories they represent as well.
I’m only now realizing jewelry I create is from objects that hold special meaning to me or images that represent my memories. I have a habit of squiring away little keep sakes from places that are special to me. Making these keepsakes into jewelry allows me to hold them close as vessels of my memories. I then wear them as badges of my experiences that tell a story of my life and its progression. The
meaning behind the jewelry I have created gives me even greater joy
when answering questions about my jewelry as this allows me to give the
person asking a bit of myself. At the same time, I love
to think about other people wearing my pieces and creating new memories
that are personal to them thereby redefining my jewelry.
“I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.” ~ Henry David Thoreau