Precious Metals & Bench: News
Nature as Inspiration
Nature motifs appeal to consumers' yearning to be connected
to the earth and its cycles
People are searching for inner fulfillment and need to be
connected to the harmony of the natural forces and cycles of
the planet her weather systems and wilderness. We've lost
the balance between the natural world and the manufactured world,
becoming a culture of numbed shoppers. Where is the substance
of the life force in our day-to-day existence?
One good way to become anchored in this time of breathtaking
technological and commercial change is to base modern designs
on the primordial elements that have always been essential resources
of the artist. Through these classic elements, the vitality of
life continues in our modern products.
I caution anyone looking to create a brand or develop a mythical
image to look at the critical role of these design elements.
They are the bridge to the dream state from which art draws its
power. Because we draw power and inspiration from art, it makes
sense to study these symbols.
Images from nature are symbols of what famed psychiatrist Carl
Jung called the great "collective consciousness." In
other words, people anywhere on earth have similar understandings
of these images.
On this and the following pages are pictures of primordial
design elements and of jewelry into which I've incorporated these
elements. Jewelry can help people carry the spirit of raw natural
beauty that we lose through daily modern life. In this way, I
can illustrate how the jewelry artist is a conduit from the natural
world to the modern wearer.
by Robert Lee Morris
This article is excerpted from several speeches Robert Lee
Morris made to various audiences last year. Morris is an award-winning
jewelry designer who spends downtime on his land in New Mexico,
from which he draws many design inspirations.
This classic design element has symbolized the spirit of creativity
for centuries. The spider web is a symbol of intrigue and entrapment
as well as shelter and architectural structure. The web inspired
my Web of Life necklace. As if I were looking under a microscope
at a network of cells with the diamond as the nuclei, I wanted
this necklace to evoke the oneness of all things. It's a reversible
piece, with pearls on the other side, like day and night, moon
and sun, a soft and hard poetic statement.
Swirling and coiling clouds always fascinate us. We let our minds
leave our bodies and follow into the vortex of spinning shapes.
This series of jewelry is based on a metal toy we all know; it's
all about moving up and down a vortex of spiraling force. I have
fashioned delicate concentric bands of forged gold dotted with
Delicate plant forms like this tendril are shaped by photosynthesis,
a yearning for the sun, an upward growth that is another form
of spinning and turning, a symbol of youth and purity. It also
conjures up the sensations of binding and wrapping, of vitality
and inner force. This triple-banded cuff is inspired by plants'
natural growth movements and wraps itself like a vine around
Pebbles smooth beach stones gathered in clusters by the
force of water are one of my design obsessions. The qualities
of the stone weight, smooth surface, soft yet hard, pure
and spare are organically sensual. My Waterstone
collection, shown here in gold with pearls, is a wonderful translation
of the spirit of soft stones. This jewelry carries a therapeutic
feeling of comfort and tranquility, much like a worry stone worn
smooth by constant rubbing. The pearls lie in little depressions
and look like they're relaxing in their beds.
|The S Curve
The bend in the river, the whiplash of the snake, undulating
movement what a primordial and sexy classic design element.
This is how passion must look. It was an inspiration for the
entire Art Nouveau movement. Here, I use the motif in a hairpin-curve
forged silver necklace. It's clean and modern yet speaks to an
ancient knowledge of natural forms.
Shells and coral bedazzle us with their variety and inventiveness.
From the very simple to the complex shapes, these marine shelters
have provided artists with ideas since we first found them on
beaches. My curved tear necklace with pearls is a tribute to
aquatic life forms. I've tried to convey the feeling of water
and the environment where everything floats and bobs effortlessly.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.