Andrea Gutierrez - Beadwork Goddess + #DesignLux Guest

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The tenacity of the American craftsperson is voracious.  Faced with an industry of copycats, mass production and forced induction into e-commerce storefronts *Cough* Etsy, artists and craftspersons continue to hunker down in their studios and ateliers and workshops, allowing their imagination to run rampant, their fingers producing objects unlike anything else we’ve seen.   Boundaries and financial setbacks and the endless stream of Chinese fakes offer no limitations to the will and creationist attitudes of these masters of artistry. 

What I’ve found with the ever embellished world of jewelry is that the above goes doubly so.  In years past, the art of creation has left the hands of the artist and become so wholly mass produced that you can often deduce where a woman shops simply by examining her jewel box.  The importance of the human touch has been limited by the ever-growing demand for quantity over quality.  A different bauble for every outfit.

"One should either be a work or art or wear a work of art" - Oscar Wilde

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But amid the wastelands of the mass-produced and overly copied the artists continue to lay in wait. Andrea Gutierrez, the Santa Monica based goddess of beading, is just one of those artisans hiding among the dismal weeds producing thorn-less gems of epic aesthetic proportion.  Her cast work, the bracelets, rings, and earrings that have become the staple cornerstone of her collections are nothing but organic, natural, and ethereal in fashion.  There is an industrial femininity (oxymoronic?) to her work, pairing structural finish and blocky shape with unexpected gems.

But it isn’t her cast work that is the pinnacle of her collections.  In contrast to the solid masses of yellow gold and black rhodium are her beaded cuffs and necklaces.  Stretches of hand-beaded works of art, some taking months in their creation, harmoniously blend vintage aesthetics and organic evolution with explosive beauty and inspired embellishment.  Little is to be remembered of the former selves of the elements that make up these cuffs, having been crafted from vintage accessories, handbags and other random objects found only by trolling the dustiest of bins, backrooms and thrift stores. 

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Her beadwork is only matched by the intricacies of her nests.  Organic spun satchels filled with gemstones like the Herkimer Diamond, a special quartz known specifically for its diamond like properties and found only in a small stretch of quarry in New York. 

It could be concluded there may be a shopping trip in my future.

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Join #DesignLux and Andrea Gutierrez as we chat about the blurred lines between jewelry and lighting with sponsor Corbett Lighting.  Thursday, October 17th, 1pm PT/4pm ET.

Andrea Gutierrez | www.andreagutierrezjewelry.com 

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