Jude Clarke has been pushing metal around for more than thirty years. In her time at the bench, she has drawn inspiration from old tools, machinery, antique jewelry, and historic architecture.
For this piece, a bracelet she calls Bridges, Jude drew upon the black-and-white images of the medieval villages depicted in Akira Kurosawa’s 1960s-era samurai films. The sterling silver has been exposed to a rigorous process of oxidation and then burnished with steel wool in order to convey the essence of having lived through a good many seasons.
The natural pearls impart to the piece the essence of a poem which also sparked the artist’s imagination. The poem, written by Izumi Shikibu, a mid Heian Japanese poet, follows here:
although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks of this ruined house.
Pearls have long been associated with both the power and the likeness of the moon. In this remarkable bracelet, which Jude Clarke has painstakingly coaxed into beautiful fan-shaped Japanese foliage, we can imagine that the pearls are indeed beams of moonlight leaking through the planks of an artfully constructed form.
We invite you to view more of Jude Clarke’s beautiful creations at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery in the City Centre building on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle.
~Angela Magnotti Andrews