The jewels in my Golden Menagerie find their place artistically in the traditional representation of animals and nature in painting, sculpture, dance, architecture, fairy tales, and mythology. The work was inspired by my personal experience with animals, and also by the diverse ways that the human imagination connects to the natural universe. Each of my pieces expresses a direct connection between me and the animal portrayed, as well as the animal's place in our collective storytelling. As a trilogy of jewels, this menagerie was born of memory, dream, science, and myth.
Each jewel is housed in a humble wooden tea box from Kyoto, adorned with the rich art of Nancy Lorenz. Lorenz uses precious materials such as gold and silver leaf and mother of pearl along with gesso, pigments and burlap to create abstract, magical abodes for each creature. This collection is a whimsical celebration of each creature and its story: the Secret Garden Serpent, the Frog Prince, Turtles on the Rocks, the Night Owl, the Sleeping Fox, the Phoenix Chicks, the Flying Fish, the Medusa Moon Jellyfish, and the Sea Dragons.
From the concept of the design to the worldwide sourcing of gems to the artistic collaboration with Nancy Lorenz, this body of work was a labor of love. It was brought to life by the extraordinary hands of my Florentine craftsmen: master goldsmiths, setters, chiselers, engravers together with artists and bookbinders. This body of work debuted at The Salon Art + Design in New York City and was showcased at Les Arts Dècoratifs at the Louvre in Paris, France.