Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wooden Earrings and Dream Boxes by John Murphree

John Murphree has been a designer craftsman for over 40 years, exploring many mediums including leather work, beading, scrimshaw, silver smithing and finally wood working. In 2001 John noticed that the wood jewelry displayed in trade magazines and local stores was limited in both creativity and design and that quality pieces were very expensive. This observation inspired him to combine his jewelry designing skills with his woodworking knowledge to create a concept for wood jewelry that would mark a major change in the industry. Also, during this period, having developed a strong interest in the environment, he researched the idea of using more sustainable materials and discovered the amazing properties of Bamboo. Mindful of the fact we ALL need to protect and conserve our forests, that life depends on it, for every piece of jewelry sold John will plant a tree in cooperation with the Eden Project. Learn more by visiting http://www.edenprojects.org/

John starts by selecting the highest quality furniture grade hardwoods from sustainably farmed forests. The wood is then processed and hand finished in his studio. He uses primarily American hardwoods including Cherry, Maple and Walnut. He also utilizes Bamboo veneers. The Bamboo is imported from China and the veneers are cut in the USA. Bamboo is the most sustainable woody plant on earth. Bamboo can be harvested every 5-6 years, then it regrows, allowing harvests from the same plant for over 100 years.

The design process begins with an original sketch which is then drafted into Auto Cad (computer drawing software) and then printed to a laser cutter. After numerous changes and prototypes the jewelry blank is finalized and prepared for production. The jewelry blank is removed from the laser, inspected for quality, then hand cleaned and polished. Finally the jewelry is assembled and mounted on John's custom cut display cards. His designs are inspired by the organic shapes in nature, sacred geometry, popular icons and traditional design motifs such as Art Deco or Medieval. John also makes Dream Boxes in similar patterns to his earring designs. The legend of the Dream Box suggests writing down your fondest dream, greatest desire or strongest wish on a small piece of paper. Put the paper in your Dream Box and place it beside your bed. Every morning and evening, hold your Dream Box and think about your dream, believing with all your heart that it is so. If done faithfully, your dream will come true.