LINDA J LAWRENCE JEWELRY AND DESIGN
Though I began my career as a fiber artist, I'm chiefly known as an innovative kumihimo jewelry artist. My work blends the ancient traditional Japanese art of braiding silk strands into cords with a contemporary viewpoint. As a quilt artist, my work toured internationally and won awards. But I hit a snag-- a creative block. It was then that I began a desperate hunt for a new form of artistry. I found it in a different form of fiber: vibrant strands of silk. And since the time that kumihimo found me, it's beauty and style have captured my heart. My work is influenced by the Japanese esthetic of creating beauty through the simplicity of form. My joy is simply the act of creating.
I work on a Marudai, the traditional Japanese braiding stand. The repetitive braiding movements, and the sounds of the wooden bobbins hitting against the legs of the stand becomes a form of meditation and focused relaxation.
After taking six master classes in this art form, I traveled to Japan to study with the master Makiko Tada at the Kyoto Institute. And when I returned, I practiced and developed new ways of incorporating creative designs using seed beads, pearls and gemstones such as labradorite, and lapis lazuli, then adding pyrite and black spinel to add sparkle and extra bling.
I generally work with tiny beads, size 11/0s seed beads and 2 or 3mm beads. But I will use any size, depending on the design and color of the piece. Color is my passion, and I'm often inspired by the randomness of colors found in nature and the play of light on them. Creating Ombre effects, where one color shifts and blends seamlessly into another is a favorite technique I developed.
I currently have two design series: Bead Soup, a stockpot of leftover beads, floor sweeps, plus a few pinches of various other beads to bring out the color flavors, and my signature design for which I'm most known, the Love Knot necklace and bracelet. I'm especially fond of the Love Knot for the symbolism it represents.
For centuries, it has been a symbol of eternity, faith and enduring love. When worn it signifies your intention to attract true love into your life and to hold relationships close to your heart.
ONGOING AND UPCOMING PROJECTS
My recent move to Arizona from North Carolina has been a gift and I am looking forward to introducing Kumihimo to the Phoenix, Arizona community, and beyond, with several upcoming projects. I am currently seeking Kumihimo enthusiasts for a Kumihimo Study Group where different braid structures will be explored and studied.
For those who wish to take this art form to a higher level, I will be teaching the art of braiding on the traditional Japanese Marudai. Learning to use the Marudai opens up an infinite number of artistic and creative braiding patterns and structures not possible with other methods.
In 2016, I was honored to be chosen as Designer of the Year by WILMA magazine in Wilmington NC. (http://www.wilmaontheweb.com/October-2016/Braids-Beads-Age-Old-Traditions)
My work has been sold at Spectrum Art and Jewelry, in Wilmington NC and at Down Under Jewelry in Newport Rhode Island. It is currently sold at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington NC. I am currently exploring galleries in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico to sell and show my work.
W2W Award designer