Pencil Sculpture genius
Her work was instantly recognizable and soon became popular, to the extent that she had to expand expanded her jewellery range to include various kinds of wearable pieces, each representative of colored pencils work
Pencil Sculpture genius
1959, South African-born artist Jennifer Maestre first hit the art scene with sea urchin-inspired sculptures made from colored pencils, with sharpened points to mimic the spines, developing her unique style by cutting pencils by the dozen into 1-in segments, before drilling each with a holes, using these to sew the pieces together, employing peyote stitch techniques.
She was, she says, inspired to do this sort of work byartists like Odilon Redon, Ernst Haeckel, mythology and nature, and tried her hand at making jewelry, creating pendants, to be used as take-home tokens, and reminders of her various sculpture exhibitions.
Her work was instantly recognizable and soon became popular, to the extent that she had to expand expanded her jewellery range to include various kinds of wearable pieces, each representative of colored pencils work. She started creating her pointy sculptures during the final year of her Batchelor of Fine Arts course at Massachusetts College of Art, graduating in 1997, before earning her B.A. in Fine Arts and Economics in 1981 at Wellesley College.
Jennifer stated that her sculptures were originally inspired by her love of the sea urchin’s form and function, the dangerous spines, strangely beautiful, serving as explicit warning against contact by other species. TAs an artist, she sees the spines possessing an alluring air, drawing touch from others despite the possible outcome.
The idea, she says, is that the viewer should experience these feelings of pushing and pulling, desire and repulsion all at once, the differing aspects of the pencils presenting smooth and sharp, experiences completely at odds with one another.
She began making sculptures from pencils in1999, having majored in glass, in the 90′s, during her B.F.A. studies, but after graduation found glass too expensive, beginning to try out other materials, her fascination with the sea urchins being the constant driver, which led her for a time, anyway, to use nails for her art works
Those nail sculptures grew ever bigger and more complicated, yet Jennifer still could not achieve sufficient diversity of form for the vision she had, which led her on to begin trying out other pointy things, eventually having the notion that pencils might be a good choice. Some of her works, she says, especially those with legs and petals, require a great deal of thought, often needing to be re-done several times, though she is a very poor planner, as she readily admits.
She is always brimming with new ideas, but can never organize her time properly to fully realize many of them, because she seems drawn always to those processes that take much time and experimentation to bring to fruition. All the same, despite her own frustration at not progressing faster, she creates some visually stunning works that really are extraordinary. What a gifted artist this lady is.