Thump-thump, Thump-thump

Thump-thump, Thump-thump

Thump-thump, Thump-thump

February/March 2013 issue of American Craft magazine
Author Monica Moses
Amy Gross, Inconstancy – Red Blooming Biotope

Amy Gross, Inconstancy – Red Blooming Biotope

James Greene

In the body, the heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood; what could be more primal and corporeal? In popular culture, though, hearts mean love – often a fluffy ideal of love. How did we get from one to the other? These artists have some ideas.

Nina Devereaux and Guy Ford, whose California accessories business is called Sophie & Ava, celebrate love at its most glam with purses like the Stella Minau­diere, encrusted with Swarovski crystals.

We know our hearts beat in our chests. But sometimes – when we’re in love, when we’re giving birth – they seem to migrate, as this cut-paper sculpture by Los Angeles artist Elsa Mora suggests.

Is your heart wrestling with a dream or a worry? Polish designers Agnieszka Mazur and Dorota Skalska created Corezone as a hiding place for feelings we don’t know how to handle. The ceramic heart serves as a sort of fortune cookie, waiting for little notes about precious possibilities or vulnerabilities. To release the feeling or share the secret, you must, of course, break your heart.

Laurie Pollpeter Eskenazi’s ceramic hearts aren’t pedestrian pink things. Instead, the Chicago-area artist’s pieces are subtle combinations of unexpected colors and textures. Like a case of love that matures beyond first-blush infatuation, her hearts are more complicated and interesting the closer you look.

If your heart’s been broken, you might be wary of new entanglements. For you, Californian Natasha Forsberg channels an especially vigilant Johnny Cash in this hand-stamped dog-tag pendant with sterling silver chain.

Sure, we mean well. But in the course of busy lives, we may forget our intention to cherish our loved ones. That’s where Blanc & Reed’s bamboo salad servers come in. Toss the salad, kiss your sweetheart, and remember what matters.

We all know love can feel great. But did you know it can also smell good? Estonian designer Sergei Jegoritšev created this trivet of aromatic juniper, proving that love can be a joy for all the senses.

Though there is a resemblance, Florida fiber artist Amy Gross’ Inconstancy – Red Blooming Biotope isn’t meant to be a heart. But Gross says “biotope,” coined by biologist-artist Ernst Haeckel, means “an area where life lives.” Our hearts give us life, but they can also stop it short. They are, as Gross says of Biotope, a perfect “combination of the visceral and the delicate.”

Collective Unconscious tracks visual themes among artists. Spot a theme we should know about? Email us at [email protected].