The Arnica jewelry collection synthesizes beastly forms into golden baubles . . .
Arnica is a collaboration between Laura Coombs and Robert Lee Brackett /|\.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Robert BRACKETT & Laura COOMBS: Arnica is an exploration in translating biological forms into jewelry. We are interested in making traditional pieces to adorn the body—rings, necklaces and earrings—and further, to create pieces to adorn clothing—cufflinks and buttons. Each piece is intricate and radiant, but also concise, symmetrical, and minimal.
We combine traditional craft and jewelry making processes with digital methods—for each piece, a 3D printed wax model is translated into sterling silver through lost wax casting, then hand polished and plated in 24K gold Vermeil. Each piece becomes slightly unique through the translation from digital to material.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
RB & LC: We took a three-week road trip through the iconic American Southwest, delighting in eroded desert plateaus, desolate landscapes, soft sunsets, adaptive flora, and striking fauna. The collection is primarily influenced by the swooping hard-edged curves of wind-eroded mammal skulls. We transformed these forms through digital operations including folding, mirroring, and arraying to morph these bone curves into new petaled organisms destined to be petrified in gold.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
RB & LC: Reading: Richard Morgan, Altered Carbon; Peter Watts, Blindsight; Gilles Deleuze, The Fold; Mira Grant, The Newsflesh Trilogy; Carl Sagan, Contact; George Kubler, The Shape of Time. Listening to: John Carpenter, The Lost Themes; The Highwaymen; Left as Rain; Grimes; Soft Focus Radio, Helsinki. Watching: The Thing (dir. John Carpenter); Stargate SG–1; Stargate Universe; The Hidden Fortress (dir. Akira Kurosawa); Moon (dir. Duncan Jones).
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
RB & LC: Mark Foster Gage; M. Casey Rehm of Studio Kinch; François Roche; Maeta Design; Neri Oxman; Francis Bacon; Marc Chagall; Oliver Laric; Rachel Rose; and Michael Wang.
Robert Brackett is an Adjunct Professor at the Pratt School of Architecture. He is also a practicing architectural designer, fabrication consultant, and web developer. Laura Coombs received her B.Arch degree from Cornell University and is currently pursuing her MFA in graphic design at the Yale School of Art. We make things.