Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jennifer Maestres' Pencil Beads

It never ceases to amaze me how some artist find inspiration and turn the common and most ordinary objects into incredible pieces of art. Jennifer Maestre was originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin, animals, plants and mythology.
She started experimenting with different materials to make urchin forms. She started working with nails of different types, textures and colors which she pushed through window screens. She then continued working in a larger scale, adding zippers and other elements.

In her desire of sculpting more complex forms she started experimenting with other pointy things and techniques, and finally came up with the idea of using pencils by turning them into beads and sewing them together. To make a pencil sculpture she takes hundreds of pencils, cuts them into 1- inch sections, drills a hole in each section, sharpens them and sews them together using mostly a beading technique called the peyote stitch.

Born in Johannesburg , South Africa in 1959, Jennifer is a graduate of Welsley College and holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art. She has been teaching her off-loom techniques for many years and is internationally known for her unique pencil sculptures.


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