Sanibel Community House Art Festival Jan. 17 – 18; Art Festival at Mercato Jan. 25 – 26
As both a gem carver and goldsmith, Don McCoy is able to achieve artistic interpretations of the beauty of natural forms. He is the sole creator of every facet of the jewelry he produces and a purist who believes every aspect of a piece should be handmade by the artist.
He uses use diamond tools, many of which he has to make by hand to cut, carve and polish the gemstones. He incorporates alloy 24K gold into 14K, 18K or 22K and rolls out his own sheet and wire, etc. to use in his hand fabricated gold work. Australian Opal, Diamonds, Tourmaline, Topaz, Fire Opal, Citrine and Amethyst are some of the gemstones he uses. Exaggerating nature’s beauty is a principal theme of Don McCoy’s jewelry and an essential quality of his inspiration. The California and Florida-based artist’s perception of the world is emboldened and vivified through his craft, where seemingly simple, his hand made work is quite complex. Don makes every single component of his pieces by hand. Imagine a gold link chain where each link is made by hand, by soldering the gold together link by link. It is rare.
Dramatically brought to life as the shapes, colors, shadows and textures of each precious stone is carefully selected. By grouping together each stone and gem to create a matching set of pieces they take on both magical and majestic features. To create this effect, Don uses classical jewelry making techniques. Specifically, he adds them to each fully handmade design. The process can be like witnessing a flower bloom, a butterfly take flight, or a cloud dissipate into thin air. Jewelry created in this way allows him to look at a subject more sculpturally, noting each twist and turn, and amplify and enhance the design rather than worrying about its realistic interpretation. His work is sculptural and engaging.
From the Latin “resplendere,” meaning “to shine back,” his collection is about the continually growing splendor of the natural world rather than a literal artistic interpretation of sheen or luster. His work is in continuous exploration of transition and transformation, and the brilliance of each piece imparts feelings of promise and wonder. Timeless works of art that capture a sense that beauty is a continuum.
Don purposefully looks for the intricacies of evolution and dynamism that touch on the human experience. The idea of impermanence, even instability, reflects the reality of the world we live in, but hope is always at the core of each design. He feels a profound sense of intimacy through the act of combining rare gemstones and precious metals, reinterpreting them in a way that sparks the imagination, and conveys an evocative story to each individual. “The inspiration is right in front of me. I don’t have to make anything up. My craft allows me to breathe my subjects into being, which is at once thrilling and brings enormous gratitude.”
Don McCoy’s fantastic jewelry will be on display at The Sanibel Community House Art Festival Jan. 17 and 18 on Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island and also the following weekend Jan. 25 and 26 at The Art Festival at Mercato in North Naples. For further information and for details on the festivals, go to www.boulderbrook.net or call 239-293-9448.