Since I was at least 19, but probably way before then, I’ve had a love affair with Brazil. I remember the first time I heard “The Girl From Ipanema,” while driving with my aunt and uncle through North Carolina in the middle of winter, on my way back to college. The melancholy melody had such a carefree calmness about it and made me yearn for exotic shores and sunshine so warm it gives you goosebumps - the exact antithesis of the situation I found myself in (I was so dreading going back to school, and did I mention I HATE winter?).
I get the same feeling now whenever I hear any bossa nova songs - the soothing Portuguese lyrics roll off the tongue effortlessly, like waves on the beaches of Ipanema, and I am transported to a dreamworld. I finally made it to Brazil a few years ago, and it was everything I imagined. Beautiful people, breath-taking scenery, lazy beaches, and sunshine - what more could you ask for?
My love affair with Brazil continues. I hope to one day make it to the Amazon, which I’m sure holds more adventures than I can imagine. In the meantime, I have been inspired by my own ideas of it, which are translated into the Amazonia collection. When I picture the Amazon in my head, I see miles and miles of green as far as the eye can see. But it’s not just green - the subtleties in the hues slowly show themselves, and like a peacock fanning its feathers, shades of olive, emerald, teal, copper, gold, and even hints of indigo are revealed.
I used real beetle wings on these pieces. They come from the Asian Jewel Green Beetles, which are indigenous to Northern Thailand. The natural iridescent color of the wings is amazing - the colors change depending on which angle you look at them. These wings have been used to make jewelry and embellish garments for centuries - most notably in the 19th century. The following are some amazing works from that time period: