Patricia Michaels is a style-maker at the forefront of modern fashion design, becoming a national figure when she became a finalist on “Project Runway”, the popular designer competition.
A native of Taos Pueblo, Pat has developed her creative work in many aspects of personal adornment.
An extension of fashion design, these glamorous, somewhat edgy, and definitely artistic earrings honor tradition in a marvelously contemporary way.
Silver has a long tradition in Native jewelry, and mica is found in abundance in the Northern New Mexico environs of her pueblo home.
Mica is found in all kinds of rocks, and flakes easily in flat sheets.
It is often used in pottery, adding its scintillating sparks, and hardening properties, to clay.
Using mica in its natural sheet form, in jewelry, is a daring, out-of-the-box idea.
With her talent and skill, Pat pulls off this challenge, fashioning dramatic, but delicate hoops of hammered silver, with natural plaques of mica attached, in the centers.
The result is a fascinating and strangely beautiful mix of solid silver, hammered into organic circles, centered with mistily transparent sheets of mica.
The smoky, see-through greys of the mica bring to mind antique mirrors, glassy, but filled with lighter and darker areas that are more or less transparent.
Just as the silver hoops are irregular in outline, the mica sheets tied onto them are designed to protrude beyond the edge of the silver, in one direction, and even not quite completely filling the circle between the silver frames., in another.
This deconstructed style is very contemporary, just like abstract art.
The effect of irregular contours and shapes, and the solid gleam of the silver, in contrast to the intriguing, foggy transparency of the mica, results in fabulous, wearable contemporary art.
Not only beautifully avant-garde, these dangles are flattering, and featherweight, too.
Delicate as a fairy’s wing; with the tough allure of black leather – made for a fearlessly artistic, modern girl, by a singular artist.