What I love about design is mixing the old with the new...creating an ancient looking piece that works with modern sensibilities. UrbanBohoChic designs are influenced by many different regions of the world. I am obsessed with the details of African design, especially the metal work of Benin and the Baule Tribe. I am also obsessed with ancient Etruscan jewelry, Afghan design, and the Japanese Zen aesthetic of wabi-sabi---beauty in the imperfect. Somewhere in there, I find design harmony.
I love designs that feel warm and grounded. Creating a tribal/ village-feel that makes you feel part of a greater whole, an earthly family...bringing us to our roots in an original and beautiful way. One of the ways I achieve this is by mixing metals...brass with bronze. Sterling and brass. And copper has such a gorgeous glow and warmth.
Additionally, I delight in mixing contrasting elements of old and new...of rough and refined. My designs heavily feature handmade beads from Ethiopia, Java, the Philippines, etc.. Handmade beads add texture and richness. And every single one of them is different from the next.
I also design with the natural aging of materials in mind...The handmade 'white metal' from Africa starts as fresh, bright silver. Over time and many wearings, it slowly reveals the metal from which it was made; bits of brass or copper may peak out. And in some cases, it simply takes on a darker patina, giving off a slightly edgy vibe. Brass and sterling silver antique themselves and draw down in color. Copper and bronze often taken on a verdigris hue. All of these semi-precious metals can be polished up when you are ready to be shiny again.
However, there is an inherent beauty in things as they age. Aging is a natural progression of life and patina is symbolic of the love with which each piece is worn.
It gives me great joy and satisfaction to use materials from all over the world, dozens of countries and nations, bringing them together in beautiful, aesthetic harmony...this is my metaphor, and my wish, for humanity.