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27 January 2016

The Sun in Sunflower


A little insider information about my design process. The sunflower pendant started out as a sun. I love a sunflower, but actually I was exploring the sun, and a question I had about the sun and the moon. Why is the moon often shown with a face but the sun remains faceless? If I were to give the sun a personality, what would that be? How would I show that in a pendant—and keep it sophisticated? In case you are wondering how that creative experiment turned out, may I show you the latest in the collection. Voila, the sunflower.

I’m calling the pin and the necklace pendant in the line Helias. A twist of the Greek mythological Helios. I wanted to go against millennia of beliefs, and make the sun a she.

As I showed people my sun, they congratulated me on the sunflower.

A Sunflower Meme

Sunflowers, with their large faces and prominent wilting, have a human dimension. These flowers, full of emotion, were also exquisitely painted by Vincent Van Gogh, who completed his famous series in Arles, France.

Then Gauguin came for a visit, and painted Van Gogh painting sunflowers in The Painter of Sunflowers. A sunflower meme was born. Diego Rivera painted the flowers in his Muchacha con Girosoles. Then Gustav Klimt completed The Sunflower 19 years after Van Gogh. David Hockney painted his canvas in tribute to Van Gogh. John Bratby’s is well known.

I must be part of the meme with the pin, the earrings, and the necklace. If you really want to geek out, you should know there is a Sunflower magazine published by the National Sunflower Association. The USDA maintains a Sunflower Research Unit in Fargo, N.D. You can also check out the International Sunflower Association, which puts out the beautifully named publication Helia. Enough said.