Jennifer Maestre

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Everyone knows I love a good sea urchin and today, my brother’s friend Neil (and my friend too) sent me the site of Jennifer Maestre whose sculptures are entirely inspired by “the form and function of the sea urchin.”

These are 1 inch sections of pencils, cut, sharpened, drilled and then sewn together like in beading. This mixes many of my favorite things together: weaving, beading, and repetition.

Part of what I like about Jennifer’s story is that she has percolated on one idea over time. This prickly vessel shape. As you read her About page, you learn a lot about the limitations many artists face when it comes to supplies, studio space, skill acquisition, and more – and how that influences what you ultimately create. A lot of times we come up with ideas that can fall outside our reach.

It turns out that the pencils give her the ability to make flexible shapes in a way that she likes better than other materials she was experimenting with. sometimes they’re facing out, sometimes in – creating a tension and an otherworldly feel.

What’s also cool about Jennifer is that she’s kind of local too – she went to Wellesley College and then attended Mass Art a bit later on in life. The above piece looks almost fuzzy, soft and gentle given the curves but it’s not – it’s hard and destructive.

They’re all so beautiful.

This reminds me of a football crossed with a bowling ball…though it couldn’t actually be used!

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