Snowflake Coral Series
The idea for a snowflake coral series came to me as I was observing the invasive species while SCUBA diving in the Hawaiian Islands. The earring designs began as hand drawings. The digitized drawings were converted into CAD drawings and sent to a local machine shop to be laser cut into sheets of sterling silver. Laser technology for the shiny highly conductive metal was a hurdle jumped with the help of the research department of a global laser equipment company. The earrings were hand built and hand finished.
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Snowflake Coral is one species of coral that might survive and thrive in the ocean while other species struggle. Snowflake Coral polyps travel around the world in ship bilges. When the ship docks, polyps leave the bilge with the sea water and attach to the local reef, build colonies, and send out more polyps. The newly colonized shores frequently have no Snowflake Coral predators, such as the Hawaiian islands of Lanai’i and Hawai’i where I witnessed the coral.
How and why the sea and it’s creatures change is important for me to voice in my art. Humans deconstruct nature to figure it out. Corporations rebuild nature as genetically modified organisms. Plastics and other contaminants in our oceans lead to genetic mutations. My snowflake coral designs are modifications of the organisms deconstructed into flat layers of recycled sterling silver. Reconstructed with industrially produced stainless steel screws and nuts, my snowflake coral earrings are wearable portrayals of stories within our oceans. Suede and hide scraps from a local purse maker add eye catching color.