Artist Maria Moyer Creates Plankton-Inspired Porcelain Jewelry for Loomstate (Photos)

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Discs, unglazed porcelain and indigo wash; 5 in diameter. Photo: Maria Moyer

Artist Maria Moyer is a sculptor, first and foremost. In her most recent body of work she creates ocean-inspired porcelain sculptures for Loomstate. Called "Blue", the collection features jewelry, which Moyer describes as "a natural extension of the same practice."

Scott Mackinlay Hahn, co-founder of Rogan and Loomstate, and Moyer hosted an invitation-only launch event October 5, 2011 to welcome the collection to its current home at Rogan on 330 Bowery Street, where it is currently on view throughout the month of October. Plus, the jewelry collection is conveniently available online at

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Maria Moyer presents her work with Scott Mackinlay Hahn standing by.
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Plankton slides on display at Rogan.

Moyer's inspiration for "Blue" started with a fascination and slight obsession with algae and plankton. The artist pored over slides and images of the tiny plants and animals and was amazed by their shapes. Prominent to her interest in plankton is their impact on the Earth's food chain. She shares an interesting statistic: about 90% of the world's oxygen comes from phytoplankton.

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Her inspiration extends to biology class: Since childhood, menisci have held her "rapt" attention. This interest led her to create Discs (pictured above).

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Untitled, wall installation.

Moyer's untitled wall installation, which explores her bi-coastal life in New York and San Francisco, California with man-made and found objects, including unglazed stoneware, sand, feathers, seaweed bundles, driftwood, and charcoal. Moyer describes the work as a collaboration since many of the natural objects were gifts from those who shared time with her coast to coast.

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Box of Hours, unglazed stoneware box and unglazed porcelain.
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Serpent and Breastplate necklaces, unglazed porcelain and leather cord.
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Moyer with artist Brad Livingstone Black who holds a diatom piece. Photo: Holli Rafkin Sax

Moyer is drawn to unglazed porcelain--the premier medium in the collection--for its resemblance to a seashell and its reputation for being fragile. "It's one of the toughest clays once fired," Moyer says. She admits it is a challenging medium to work with but in under two months she conceptualized and manifested the the objects on display.

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Vacuoles, hand built and carved, unglazed porcelain.
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Hook and Eye necklace, unglazed porcelain and leather cord
All photos: Maria Moyer (unless otherwise noted)

Moyer's wearable art centers on unglazed porcelain, which hangs delicately from an azo-, chromium-, and lead-free leather cord. She makes each piece by hand in New York City, preferring to forgo production molds. The result is a highly personal collection of porcelain pieces that are both tactile and sensual. Each object is a testament to personal craftsmanship.

Prices range from $175-$650 for jewelry and $325-$4,800 for sculpture. And it only seems fitting that a percentage of proceeds will benefit the non-profit organization Waves for Water.

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