Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, artist Jennifer Maestre shows off the depths of her fascination with the sea urchin and its undeniable texture by combining pencils, nails, and elaborate stitching, she creates a broad array of inspired yet prickly sculptures. She had a solo show June 1st through July 6th at The Carnegie in Covington, Kentucky. Jennifer Maestre holds a long list of accolades and accomplishments with her unusual beading work. She is a graduate of Welsley College and holds a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. Jennifer has been teaching her offloom techniques for many years.
According to Jennifer Maestre, her sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in her choice of materials. Quantities of industrially manufactured objects are used to create flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils are common objects, here, these anonymous objects become the structure. There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.
To make the pencil sculptures, she takes hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section, sharpen them all and sew them together.
Here are some more of her works
"Many creative endeavors begin with a nicely sharpened pencil and a two dimensional surface. My obsession with the point has led me from two dimensions to three. The texture created by a mass of pointed ends is alluring, but is intimidatingly sharp and hard. A tension thus arises between desire and repulsion. The opposing blunt ends offer a different aesthetic experience: a delicate mosaic, a smooth spotted skin."
"Although the sculptures appear rigid, they are actually their own unique fabric. Pencil points are transformed into beads by drilling holes into each. Thousands of points are woven together with thread or wire, creating flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils represent to me creativity, inspiration, striving, work potential, and fun. Each sculpture is a manifestation of one or more of these qualities."
More Of Jennifer Maestre
You can see more photos of some of her work in 500 Baskets,& 500 Beaded Objects, published by Lark books
All pictures from Jennifer Maestre official website: jennifermaestre.com