When my daughters were young the weeks before Christmas were magical. We visited a chosen store, sometimes local, sometimes in our travels, carefully looking at displays to make our most important decisions…the purchase of our annual ornaments, one for each of us that would be filled with our stories as we decorated the trees to come.
The most beautiful ornaments were made by Silvestri and as fate would have it, I showed my portfolio to the woman responsible for them, Linda Simpson… we immediately knew we would work together. As a licensed artist for Silvestri I designed complete collections, working with many kinds of materials and surfaces alongside the visionary Linda and production and sourcing genius, Maureen Monahan (love you ladies XXX). Our never ending product development meetings in that Boston office left us delirious with Linda’s wondrous discoveries from her trips to overseas markets. Cartons of those treasures were shipped to my studio, textiles, beads, feathers, trim, metals, objects all found their way into the collections I designed. I loved making prototypes even knowing that their nuances could never ever be mass produced but still, the painter demanded the colors, textures, finishes and authenticity of the designs.
These are the images that moved my spirit and imagination once upon a time in my art history classes, the Rinascita, Italian Renaissance, a rebirth of minds, arts and culture emerged from the silent piety of the dark ages, wealthy patrons of the Italian city-states sponsored artists and the philosophy of Humanism, religious subject matter persisted but now with a breath of life, 15th century paintings captured the realism of beauty, form and gesture, a flush to the cheeks, a gaze, a tilt to the head, cherubim and watchful angels hovered above, surrounding innocence with ethereal beauty.
Yes, I am the painter. And here are the prototypes, our ornaments are little works of art that can not be reproduced, the images, reclaimed wood, textures, colors, finishes, collected and created embellishments, all are one of kind, and with one purpose… to bring joy to the eye and spirit of their beholder, you