"All my life I have found inspiration in nature."
Born in San Francisco and raised along the breathtaking California coast, it is little wonder that Joseph Birdsong would look to nature as a source of inspiration for his art works. Beginning with his paintings and later in his sculptures, which he has exhibited throughout California and the Southwest, Birdsong has blended his love of nature into an aesthetic that incorporates its transitory beauty as well as its more enduring elements as exhibited in his continued use of metalwork specifically bronze and copper.
No where is this union more obvious than in his sculpture and now his jewelry collection.
His love of copper and gemstones has led him to produce a unique line of bracelets that are in some ways reminiscent of his larger sculpture but stand on their own as one-of-a-kind creations. Using heat and hammer, he forms a distinctive textured surface, carefully folding and molding the copper into the desired form that in many cases is mistaken for fabric rather than metal. Aside from this classical sculptural quality the bracelets process, they also evoke comparisons to more primitive pieces in his use of uncut gemstones and a variety of techniques that give each one its own patina and presence.
Their inspiration will be open to interpretation by the wearer. Whether it is the seemingly immutable mountain peaks that surround his home in Tucson, Arizona or the brief pattern of a receding wave on a California shore these dynamic forces are evidenced in his jewelry’s design and have always been part of his artistic vocabulary. Add to this the precious and semi-precious gems that adorn most of his creations and you have the perfect union of the primitive and fine art traditions. A union that is also reflected in his Native American heritage which keeps him in tune with the elements of the natural world and his education and evolution as a significant Western artist.
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