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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