This week's blog post is written by June Martin of Moth and Twig.
In my life I have been fortunate enough to either live in or spend time in various biomes including deserts, forests, and grasslands. My artwork is highly influenced by my love for nature. For example, it is easy to see the desert in the mosaic art jewelry pieces below. Hues of fiery orange and mustard depict the warmth of the sun. Turquoise, occurring exclusively in desert and arid environments, is often featured in my work, either in the form of actual turquoise stones and nuggets or turquoise ceramic earthenware tiles.
Though the arid, desert color palette speaks to me, I feel most inspired when I am in the forest, the tropical forest to be exact. As a child, I spent nearly two years living in the Philippines. The time I spend traipsing around in the jungle as a curious nine-year-old shaped who I am today. I cannot help but connect my love of art to my love of nature. I see art in nature, and I see nature in art. Though I have not been back to the Philippines since my childhood, I do frequent the wilds of Costa Rica, often, and it is there that I feel most inspired!
If you will indulge me for a moment, close your eyes and picture yourself awakening to the guttural sound of the howler monkey. To my ears, even though the first cries of the day may begin at 4 AM, their cries sound like a lullaby to me, letting me know that soon I will be gently awakened by the tropical sun, but for now, all is right in the world as I hear them getting ready for their day. The sun rises early in Costa Rica, usually around 5:30 AM. By this time the world around you is alive and bustling with activity. A cup of hot tea in hand, swinging in the hammock, I am enthralled by the abundance of hummingbirds and butterflies flitting about with their iridescent wings shimmering in the early morning sun. I ponder creating a pendant using dichroic glass to depict the impossible brilliance of color I see before my eyes.
Next, I see a pair of agoutis scampering about, foraging for their morning meal. Their beautiful caramel color fur stands out as they forage next to the lush green ferns near the banana trees. Another inspirational palette to use in my work. A pair of earrings perhaps?
At this point I hear the sounds of the white-faced capuchin monkey; a troupe making its way to my cottage, perhaps to scrounge the compost pile at the foot of the immense bamboo thicket. I see the first monkey emerge: a new mother with her infant clasped tightly around her. How beautiful they are with their cream hued faces and dark brown bodies. They scamper up and down the bamboo stalks. I contemplate a palette of cream, sienna, and the green of the bamboo leaves. Perhaps I will throw in some mango orange or mammon chino. So many choices!
It is my dream to host workshops in Costa Rica, where I can share with others my love of the art of mosaic as well as my love of Costa Rica: A seven-day intensive mosaic jewelry workshop to be held in the remote, yet accessible, Southern Nicoya peninsula. My hope is that not only will students come away with gorgeous works of nature-inspired mosaic jewelry, but that they will also come away with a sense of awe and appreciation for the jungles of Costa Rica. Adventure and art awaits! Stay tuned!
June Martin has a Mosaic Jewelry Workshop coming up in June! Check out our Classes page for more information.