How A Jewelry Artist Is Using Her Creativity To Save Elephants In Africa

When valuables artist Alexandra Mor changed to Bali for a year she was looking to feed her artistic juices while training Balinese craftsmanship. Her adventure took an surprising road that done all a disproportion in anticipating herself, figure out a new opening for her creativity and regulating it to move courtesy to a incomparable cause.

Mor is famous for elegant, well-crafted wealth with signature characteristics such as a use of vast colored gemstones, “floating” solid m�lange and knife-edge handle trim. In 7 years she achieved vicious commend and a clever following among valuables amatory consumers. However, in recounting her knowledge recently, she sounded like someone who was feeling burned-out.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

A necklace done of tagua seeds, antique pearls and 22k bullion beads with forged red timber lotus flower

“I was operative for so long, so tough and beholden to grasp so many good things, though creatively we felt like we was not unequivocally joining to my work and a change between a business and my work,” she said. “At one indicate somebody told me you’re going to have to confirm either you’re a valuables engineer or a business woman. I’m not peaceful to let go of being a valuables designer, being an artist, since that’s what creates what we do so special.”

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Alexandra Mor binds a tagua seed

In August, 2016, Mor, her father Alon, and their 3 school-age children left their New York home and changed to Bali. While focusing on her artistic routine and immersing herself in Balinese qualification and culture, she befriended Nadya Yuti Hutagalung, an Indonesian-Australian indication and radio host, who co-founded a organization, “Let Elephants Be Elephants,” and constructed a documentary film of a same name to lift recognition about a tie between high levels of elephant poaching in Africa and a expenditure of ivory in Asia.

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Alexandra Mor in Bali

It incited out that this possibility confront supposing a artistic hint Mor needed. “The film came during a right time,” she said.

Mor accepted that poaching elephants for their tusks was a critical emanate though when she saw a film she was repelled to learn a border of a problem and a volume of valuables and art objects still being done with ivory.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Long forged tagua and antique pearl earrings

“Every 15 mins an elephant is being killed and not usually elephants though so many other class for their tusks, horns, fur, whatever,” she said. “I was astounded to learn how most of it is used for valuables still. It has opposite powers in opposite cultures and it’s so good determined in a collectible world.”

She continued, “I started meditative what can we do as a designer? My comfort was always around a design, a craftsmanship and a quality. we motionless that we developed from that place. My work has to have a bigger goal and has to ring with a bigger review that gives back, influences and inspires—whether it’s a tiny dump in a sea or something bigger.”

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Carving a tagua stone by hand

In her investigate Mor schooled about a tagua bulb (phytelephas), also famous as unfeeling ivory. It’s not a bulb during all though a South American palm tree seed. Its brownish-red skin reveals a tough white heart that resembles ivory in entrance and texture. Its normal blurb focus is for a make of buttons.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Carved tagua, antique pearls and forged wooden lotus earrings

Mor saw tagua as a tolerable choice to ivory in formulating wealth and as a approach to lift recognition to a poaching of elephants for their tusks.

She is not alone in perplexing to finish a elephant poaching. Other organizations are concerned in a means and currently (August 12) is World Elephant Day, that brings courtesy to a predicament of Asian and African elephants from poaching and medium loss. A week progressing a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation crushed about $8 million value of confiscated valuables and art objects done of elephant tusks illegally sole in a state.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

A Balinese craftsman operative with Tagua for a Bali-inspired jewel

While Mor applauds these efforts she says she is focusing in building artistic solutions to this problem.

“I can go and be dissapoint during a poachers like many organizations do. There’s a lot of bid opposite something though we consider instead of going opposite a Buddhist approach is that we go with. You move a resolution and we move it with love,” she said. “Maybe that could change a conversation. we consider that’s what this bulb is all about. It brings love, certain review and choice solutions.”

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

A ring with an oval cut garnet, tagua, 22k bullion handle work in a edging settlement and diamonds

Mor found a tagua retailer in Ecuador and started operative with Balinese craftsmen to emanate wealth formed on her designs. Bone and timber collection are used to carve and figure a material. It also responds good to dyes.

The use of tagua as an ivory surrogate for valuables and art carvings isn’t new. However, Mor is giving this common element a oppulance hold by mixing it with artisanal craftsmanship, internal organic materials, and changed gems and metals.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

A ring with a pearl set on timber and tagua seed

Working with a internal Balinese group that enclosed a timber carver, a bone carver, a goldsmith and a tiny pearl plantation in a Indonesian island of Sumatra, Mor constructed a “Tagua Seed Collection” of about a dozen one-of-kind jewels. The pieces mix hand-carved tagua, black and red Balinese wood, Sumatran pearls, 22k yellow bullion handle work by Balinese craftsmen, several colored gemstones and solid melee.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Carved tagua seed cuff

The designs and craftsmanship are unchanging with a Alexandra Mor code detailed with normal Balinese motifs and in a integrate of cases, Nepali influences desirous by a outing Mor took to a Himalayan region. The tagua is forged in flower-like arrangements for hoop earrings and interconnected with Balinese black wood. Openwork bullion is used via a collection with designs as perplexing as a excellent lacework. Baroque internal pearls are interconnected with bullion beads, and lotus flower designs forged from red timber and tagua.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Carved tagua seed and forged wooden lotus flower and solid timber earrings

Mor admits to being apprehensive about how her clients will conflict to her new direction. “It’s indeed unequivocally frightful since a lot of times people are used to a certain thing we emanate and they adore it so because would we change divided from it,” she said. “I’ll still do my bespoke work and we still have my collections though we consider it’s unequivocally required to develop both as an artist to try a new materials and with a trail I’m on today.”

On Sep 6 Mor will betray her collection during Vogue Italia’s annual “U.S. Protagonists” eventuality to be hold during Springs Studios, New York. Mor is dedicating 20 percent of a deduction of her Tagua Seed Collection to an elephant organization. In addition, Mor assured a other valuables designers participating in a uncover to emanate plug collections regulating tagua that she supplied.

Courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Tagua seed, antique pearls and 22k bullion beads bracelet

“I was asked if we wish to join a protagonist eventuality again in Sep (she exhibited during a eventuality previously). we pronounced we would adore to do it though we am not in a same place creatively. we don’t wish to be partial of something where we usually mount behind a showcase, sell, splash champagne and my guest and collectors will go home with dull hearts,” she said. “I wish to emanate something opposite that will have an combined value. So they asked me if we have an idea. we pronounced I’m operative on this collection and I’ll be happy to share it (the tagua seeds) with any engineer during a eventuality and maybe we can all emanate plug collections and foster a idea. They desired it and authorized it.”

For Mor, a tagua bulb not usually raises recognition of a predicament of elephants, though it supports communities in Bali and Ecuador while formulating a oppulance product that communicates a summary of sustainability to her clients.

“I consider there is something about this tagua. It’s a seed of a lot of things,” she said. “Symbolically it’s a seed of a palm tree, a seed of an idea, a seed of intensity and a seed of what we can create. Not usually for elephants though for all that’s entrance the way. There’s a lot of symbolism around it.”

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonydemarco/2017/08/12/how-a-jewelry-artist-is-using-her-creativity-to-save-elephants-in-africa/

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