Maria Beaulieu

E.R. Butler & Co. unveils new jewelry by Maria Beaulieu with an opening reception, Tuesday, December 1st, 2009, from 6–8 pm.

E.R. Butler & Co. unveils new jewelry by Maria Beaulieu with an opening reception, Tuesday, December 1st, from 6–8 pm.

E.R. Butler & Co.’s Prince Street Storefront and Showroom will showcase Maria Beaulieu’s latest work, featuring broaches, earrings, necklaces, and a tiara inspired by South Sea pearls, marine coral and other anthozoa [aquatic life] of the Southern Pacific Ocean. To complement her recent designs, Beaulieu will also present motifs more typical of her past work: semi-precious gemstones, in luscious tropical ocean blues and greens.

Beaulieu’s work will be displayed amongst a vitrine instillation of semibalanus balanoides (acorn barnicles) from the Philippines, an assortment of sea creatures made by master lamp work artist Vitorrio Costantini, as well as an octopus pot and other natural sea-forms drawn from Beaulieu’s own collection

Beaulieu, who worked for Ted Muehling for 9 years prior to starting her own collection, creates simple and elegant jewelry that usually features faceted gems. It is the story behind each stone, as well as their intrinsic beauty, which fascinates her. “It’s all about the stone, and not about me, the jeweler. I use just enough gold to highlight each piece.”

In her latest presentation, Beaulieu explores her interest in South Sea pieces from her collection of natural artifacts. While deeply inspired by the shapes she finds in the branches of coral and related sea fans, Beaulieu has little interest in using the precious material itself, choosing instead to recreate the shapes in 18K Gold and Sterling Silver. “Coral is simply too precious and endangered” she states, and needs to be protected. By recreating coral in other materials, Beaulieu hopes to advance awareness of the environmental issues surrounding coral, demonstrating her support for the protection and conservation of the world’s irreplaceable coral reefs.

The collection is not without an element of escape, relieving the cold winter months with a fantasy of warmth and pleasure. Gorgeous blue and green beryls, evocative of tropical waters, are juxtaposed against white and golden South Sea pearls, pink and purple fresh water pearls and silvery branches of coral formed into wonderful broaches, earrings and necklaces. Of particular interest is the unique tiara intricately cast from coral formations that have been culled from Beaulieu’s collection of natural objects.

The resulting display of Beaulieu’s evocative fantasy of the South Sea is an eminent success.

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