Thursday, March 4, 2010

MARCOS DAVIDSON

Established in 1820, Australia's Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden strives to conserve threatened species of flora, and holds an annual Tulip Festival. Australia is also the home of featured jewelry designer Marcos Davidson.

Early on Davidson possessed an unyielding creative spirit, and I would imagine there were those who labeled him incorrigible and unwilling to contain his dramatic bursts of self-expression.

During lunch breaks, high above the bustling streets of Melbourne, he journeyed to the rooftop of office buildings releasing colored parachutes, and toy planes.

He watched in delight as the floating objects added, if only for a few transitory moments, tiny pops of color to the murky urban landscape.

He also directed his energy to terra firma regions as well, painting graffiti art along the city's alleyways and street signs; behavior that ultimately got him arrested seven times.

The energetic artist, however, has no regrets. "Melbourne is pretty dull and grey. I thought it would look great drawing pink and orange on it. I wanted to turn the vibe around," he explains.

A man of voracious interests and aptitudes, Davidson reads books about botanicals like poisonous mushrooms; played drums in a local band; worked as an installation artist, and orchestrated water-bomb championships at Australia's Station Pier.

Davidson's interest in jewelry and metalwork began over three decades ago when he collected and melted down metal scraps from the goldsmiths who worked in Melbourne's jewelry district located on Little Collins Street. Today, these businesses are gone but Davidson maintains a clear sense of nostalgia in his organic jewelry.

"I would say that in a very old-fashioned way I work as a bespoke jeweler. I fuse and forge things. I essentially work with a 15th century mentality," he says. In light of this statement, Davidson's collections seem snatched from that period with their rough-hewn, molten structures.

In addition, he creates signet rings implementing such motifs as the Maltese Cross.  In addition to traditional materials such as platinum, sterling silver, gold, and diamonds, Davidson offsets the precious metals with Bakelite.

While it is obvious that Davidson respects vintage jewelry making techniques, and materials, his spontaneity and sense of fun is evident in pieces like his Mixer Ring, the band of which is crafted from sterling silver with a Bakelite rendering of a miniature-mixing console where the stone setting would otherwise go.

Overall, his pieces are visually arresting where you feel Davidson's love of the jewelry making craft.

He keeps busy participating in Australia-based exhibitions such as "The House of Hallmarcos" and "The Beginnings of Australian Graffiti," which display his unique approach to artwork and jewelry.

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Photo 1 (top right): Sapphdarlla Pendant set in Platinum with Peridot and Briolette Sapphires
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Bakelite Mixer Ring with Movable Fader Parts
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