Laura Mapes

Tea and Sugar

Medium/Materials: Sterling silver and thuya burl wood

Dimensions: 11" x 6" x 8"

Year: 2013

Artists Statement: 

By pairing the fine, such as silver and gold, with what might be considered trash, I give these discarded goods a new life. Inspired by my love of tradition in craft and a pursuit of discovery through creation, I fabricate functional objects, such as flatware, holloware and jewelry. I am interested in how these objects relate to the body and the tension they engender between the personal and the universal.

I also investigate how traditional processes, such as raising, forging and soldering, can work in tandem with contemporary practices, including 3-D printing and laser welding. In my practice I address the necessity for sustainable, ethically-sourced materials. Part of my growth as a maker has involved educating myself about fair trade, conflict-free, and refined or recycled jewels and metals.

My work utilizes a variety of materials to elevate the ordinary, be it a spoon or a broom, and it plays with the questions: Why do we make things and why does it matter?

Artist Biography:

A 2014 graduate of Oregon College of Art and Craft, Laura Mapes has distinguished herself by winning the coveted national NICHE award for her Nasca Sunflower necklace and was a NICHE finalist for her sterling silver teapot and sugar bowl. Laura's hollow form work in silver and wood expresses her intimate connection to her craft. She has paired her talents with partner David Iler at Alchemy, a fine art jewelry gallery and studio in Portland, Oregon, where she specializes in custom designs made from ethically sourced gemstones and metals.