The Seductive Beauty of Heartbreak and Desire
“I’m a romantic,” a hardcore romantic, and she peppers her speech with words like tender, succulent, intuition, and fairytale.
Lola Brooks is a little intimidating. She is tall and thin, with features that are angular, but delicate. Dark curls frame her pale skin and her eyes are hidden behind oversized rhinestone glasses (one of about a hundred vintage pairs she stores in a mock python-skin-covered suitcase). One arm is covered with tattoos of thorny roses, diamonds, bows, and a heart with a dagger. Her attire is remarkably precise. A natural introvert, she masterfully puts up a cool exterior, honed by two decades spent in New York City. Now she has retreated to the Georgia countryside and “the crust is flaking off.” Reluctantly she admits, “I’m a romantic,” a hardcore romantic, and she peppers her speech with words like tender, succulent, intuition, and fairytale. She is also a self-described “connoisseur of the road,” a gifted wordsmith, and capable of collecting anything—postcards, pantsuits, canned meat, leopard fur jewelry, wallet sets, drawers, needlework copies of the Mona Lisa. For a long time she saw her life and art as frequently overlapping, but in recent years she has decided, “they have become the same thing.”
Brooks’s jewelry is luxurious excess. The scale is often large, though always unquestionably wearable. Brooches, necklaces, rings, and bracelets feature multitudes of glittering stones, hordes of antique ivory roses or tarnished steel bows, and mounds of faceted steel balls. She mixes high and low, setting diamonds next to quartz, and upends expected uses of materials, soldering steel with gold. She is devoted to the traditions of metalsmithing and relishes the technical challenges that each new object presents. She works primarily in distinct bodies of work, presenting exhibitions about every...(More)
The Seductive Beauty
of Heartbreak and Desire
Nature has been a constant source of inspiration for makers of ornaments since ancient times. Casting about for design ideas, artists and artisans have turned to natural forms: the sinuous curl of a vine, a leopard’s spots, the humble acorn, a chrysanthemum blossom. These shapes are transformed into jewelry that often carries the animation and resonance of its subjects.
At Craftboston Spring, Myung Urso, who produces paper jewelry using Korean papermaking techniques, received the Award of Excellence in Jewelry. Mary Donald’s plastic jewelry, imitative of organic substances, was recognized with the Award of Distinction in Jewelry. Beryl Schmid, a weaver who creates luminous scarves, was given the Award of Distinction in Fiber Wearable, and Chunghie Lee, bojagi superstar and creator of diaphanous garments, received the Director’s Choice Award in Fiber Wearable...(More)
Our upcoming issue 36.3 contains
Smithsonian Craft Show
Women Working Words-Facèré
Some of Our Popular Articles