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Great Gifts I Love Laurel Burch Silk Scarves | Scarf

Updated on March 21, 2016

Many great artists are masters at lights and style, few however, leave a memorable impression in your mind. Erte and Laurel Burch are two artists that choreograph their art designs with the play of bright colors and the color black with black being a common backdrop for added emphasis. And while Erte's fanciful creations where centered around fashion and the theatre, Laurel's artwork was nature - fanciful cats, horses, birds, blossoms and undersea creatures. I remember the first time I saw one of her trio of fanciful cats - distinctive and fun but surreal in nature. I felt instantly as if the artwork spoke directly to me about the artist's passion for nature and her different perspective of the world.

I love Hermes scarves and feel any silk scarf makes a fabulous gift for a female. After the popularity of my Hermes scarf article, I did a little more research on scarves and what I found was a fabulous substitute for the pricey Hermes scarves - Laurel Burch. A renown artist that sadly was taken from us on earth in 2009. An artist reminiscent to me of two of my favorites - Erte and LeRoy Neiman. I love the bright colors and exuberance that these three artists bring into our lives. Laurel's silk scarves are affordable, bright and like all scarves - always fashionable.

Laurel Burch
courtesy of
courtesy of

Laurel Burch Quote - Create Bridges to People

She invented the images that became her "bridges to people. I just wanted to pass on the joy of what I saw."

Beautiful, Safe, Colorful and Happy

When she was diagnosed - at age 7 - she reacted by creating a place inside herself that was "beautiful, safe, colorful and happy."

Laurel's Passion for Healing Causes

"For obvious reasons, the subject of healing was always close to her heart. “Being physically vulnerable is, in a lot of ways, a tremendous advantage in terms of human wisdom. My bone disease was my gift,” she said. Laurel always lent her talents to a long list of charitable causes, designing book covers, posters, and murals around the issues that were of special concern to her."

Laurel Burch's Quote on Spirit of the World

"'In our fast-paced, changing world,' she said, 'we need symbols that are a reminder of the ongoing world of the spirit.' On some level, her work was always about bringing different cultures together, and about our connection with the earth and all living things, ideas that have only increased in relevance today."

Laurel Burch Quote - Magical and Beautiful

“I refuse to have anything in my life that I can’t turn around into something magical and beautiful. I just refuse.” Laurel Burch

Laurel Burch Biography and Background

Laurel Burch was born on December 31, 1945 - a fitting day of the year for a creative artist who was a master of bright colors on black - perhaps a parallel to the same color display the common News Year eve celebration of fireworks on the night sky.The spirit of the woman is the only thing brighter than the night sky with fireworks and her bright and cheerful artwork. Many, many people have been touched by both her personal story of triumph and her artwork.

Laurel was born with a the rare bone disease called osteopetrosis, a disease where the bones break very easily. At the young age of 14 she left a tumultuous household, and set out on her own by cooking, cleaning, and babysitting for her room and board. She was searching for emotional and physical comfort and stability. She found the release in artwork which lead her to lifelong contribution to us - her artwork.

An amazing woman, who headed to San Francisco with no money, no dreams just a basic need for her emotional and physical peace - at the tender of 14.

Laurel Burch's Jewelry

Laurel's search for peace leads her to jewelry. She began with remnants of old coins, beads and bones and created masterful earrings and necklaces. Her exotic earrings and necklaces took the attention of many admirers and her creative artwork as she would say was her bridge to lifelong friendships and patrons. Laurel went on and began selling and trading her creations and sometimes giving them away. This is what lead her to the business of artwork. These bridges of her creation forever connected her to her patrons and to us.

The remarkable thing about Laurel Burch is the people and the connection she made with them. These bridges are stories that are told over and over again. Collectors are said to be drawn by her masterful use of color and style and of her spirit too. The vibrancy of her artwork and celebration remains with us even today - not just in her prints but in her wearable art too - her jewelry and her silk scarves are the popular favorites we see even today.

Modern Day Folk Artist

Unlike many great artists, Laurel did not have the benefit of formal training. Nature taught her and she in turn has taught us. As a self-taught artist, she saw herself as a "folk artist, telling stories." “In our fast-paced, changing world,” she said, “we need symbols that are a reminder of the ongoing world of the spirit.”

Bridging Cultures

The celebration of nature in her artwork transcends cultures and connects or reconnects us spiritually to the living creatures that we share this planet earth with. Her lessons are even more critical today as we can share her exuberant artwork from one corner of the globe to another with the Internet. Her fanciful style is a welcome release to the cold black and white print we read on as we surf the net and work with our personal digital devices. The look of the blue horse or cat reminds us of the vibrant colors that exist in the real world beyond the virtual world we sometimes spend too much time with.

"Magical and Beautiful"

Despite her crippling illness, Laurel was incredibly prolific but always focused. Often the disease would incapacitate her to her bed or wheelchair. This would not deterred the woman who set off into the world alone at age 14. She pushed onward with the precise goal of bringing to us the "magical and the beautiful". Laurel is quoted as saying: “I refuse to have anything in my life that I can’t turn around into something magical and beautiful. I just refuse.”

The joy that is expressed in her artwork lives on with us today. The bridges of beauty remind us that life is about all of us, each of us is both magical and beautiful in our own way. All things were beauty and magic to her - from the sea creatures to horses to the cats. Giving nature a new look and a new method to celebrate the commonalities of life we universally share together.


Laurel felt: “Being physically vulnerable is, in a lot of ways, a tremendous advantage in terms of human wisdom. My bone disease was my gift” . To this end, many of Laurel's creative visions can be found together with charitable causes to help support and promote their cause. From book covers to posters to fund raising gifts, the little treasures support the appreciation Laurel had for life and nature for itself.

Laurel Burch's Life

Laurel Burch died at age 61 in an unincorporated community called Terra Linda in San Rafael, California, 14 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. Sausalito the world renown artist community is 8 miles south-southeast of San Rafael.

"She once told the Independent Journal that when she was diagnosed - at age 7 - she reacted by creating a place inside herself that was "beautiful, safe, colorful and happy." There she invented the images that became her "bridges to people. I just wanted to pass on the joy of what I saw."

"I found metal in the junkyard and hammered it out on the back of a frying pan."

Those designs, soberly colored necklaces and earrings of beads and metal, were replaced in the early '70s when she took her designs to China and had them crafted in multicolored cloisonne. The Burch phenomenon took off from there.

At one point, she was forced to spend 90 percent of her time supervising more than 400 employees, plus office buildings and warehouses in numerous cities. In 1995, to free time for her artwork, she sold her properties and turned to licensing instead. For the past several years, her designs have been sold to companies that manufacture, promote and distribute her work in the United States, Egypt, Japan, Italy, England and Greece.

"I don't think of myself as working or not working," she once said. "It's a way of life. It's seamless."

Today, both children are filmmakers. Jay, a resident of San Francisco, also works with Sara in running his mother's business; Aarin, who lives in Berkeley, is working on a film about her mother's life.

Ms. Burch moved to Sausalito in the 1980s, and in the ensuing years lived variously in Healdsburg, Mill Valley, Novato and Terra Linda."

Her Web site,

Laurel Burch's Art and Fashion

Only a few artists have successfully mastered both art and fashion. And within that number is an achievement even more rare - touching our hearts while at the same time teaching and leading us. Many an artist has created a new style of painting. Erte for example has been aptly named the father of Art Deco. His magazine covers, his jewelry, his sculpture are enduring masterpieces. Erte spoke to us and innovated fashion. He singular took the roaring twenties to a new level of vibrancy, setting new standards for theatre, fashion and art. Laurel Burch likewise has transcended her artwork in her fashion. She speaks to us and connects to both us a ndher many patrons but most importantly she has taught us how truly vibrant and wonderful nature is - her artful detailing of both the colors and the lines reminds of the gracefulness and the playfulness of common creatures we often take for granted. Our every day cat, our beloved horse. She magnifies the lines and the colors and celebrates their life with us.

Her Art is a Bridge - Connecting Lives - Celebrating Moments Together

Art should always speak to us. It is a rare occurrence when the spirit of the artist and the art teach us. Laurel left a legacy of not just fanciful and fun scarves and paintings - she left with us a visual reminder to connect with nature, to connect with others, to let the vibrancy of art bridge our lives with others.

Celebrating friendships, celebrating lives of others, celebrating momentous moments of our lives - birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries - bridging and connecting with others is what Laurel left with us. The importance of her animals, her love of the environment of the lives of people is the gift she left to you and I.

Share Laurel's visions with your connections.

Make your own momentous permanent bridge to reinforce or build a new friendship.

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Licensing of Laurel Burch's Work

The website of Laurel Burch provides this information about licensing her work:

"Laurel Burch products are available for wholesale purchase from a variety of licensed distributors. If you are a retailer store owner or buyer, please contact these companies directly for wholesale ordering information.

If you are a wholesaler or retailer interested in developing licensed Laurel Burch products, please contact us to learn more about our licensing program:

Laurel Burch Licensing Department
(800) 556-5251 ext. 3"

In appeciation:


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