The heart of the Southern art world is passion-a passion for the area, a passion for the art forms, a passion for the lifestyle which permeates the Gulf South. Whether you're talking about visual arts or performance arts, you can find examples of it right here in the South. Come on along and enjoy the spirit of Southern art.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Bohemian Spirit Designs jewelry from Terrina Russell-Cook captivates
Photo courtesy Terrina Russell-Cook
ArtistTerrina Russell-Cookcreatesmusicand jewelry with equal ease. Her Bohemian Spirit Designs bring delight to jewelry lovers with her use of curves and movement, while her music belts out the blues with feelings from the soul.
Russell-Cook has been making jewelry since 1974, when she created puka shell necklaces and earrings to sell to tourists along Daytona Beach. Her love for “all things sparkly” began even earlier, as her late grandmother allowed the young Terrina free access to play in her jewelry box.
“I still get just as much of a thrill putting sparkly things together now as I did then,” she says with a laugh.
Many of her pieces hearken to her native American heritage. Her great-grandfather was a member of the Blackfoot tribe. Turquoise stones and traditional motifs honor his memory.
Other pieces feature swirling copper or silver, eliciting images of nature on the move. The evocative shapes have become something of a signature form for her. “For some reason I’m drawn to water and movement, so I try to incorporate as much of that in my work as possible,” Russell-Cook observes.
Although she has a great deal of experience with making jewelry, she continues to learn other techniques. Most recently, she took a course in metalworking from fellow artistPatricia Hart. Now she is expanding her skill set withrepoussé, an ancient metalworking technique which involves pressing a relief design into softened metal from the reverse side.
Two outlets in New York and two in the south keep her busy with jewelry-making, but she still finds time to stand up for the creative community. She explains that what artists create has value as an original and takes hours of work. The end result may share some visual similarities with mass-produced products in Big Box stores but the quality of the handmade items soars far above the mundane.
Any conversation with Russell-Cook includes a great deal of humor and laughter. Her delight in life and her joy in her work shines through even serious discussions of technique or style. She admits to sometimes falling in love with a piece she has created and feeling a reluctance in parting with it.