Glorious Gardens

Artist: Karen Earl

Materials: vitreous enamel on copper, sterling silver, fine silver, black fresh-water pearl, brass, steel pin back

Dimensions: 2 1/2"W x 2 1/4"H x 1/2"D

Beneficiary: The Toolbox Initiative was founded by Tim McCreight and Matthieu Cheminee in 2013 to assist and supply jewelers in West Africa with needed tools and materials. Contributors send tools and sterling silver scrap which is hand carried and distributed by Toolbox travelers directly to the jewelers. I was fortunate to travel with the team in 2019 and see the jewelers’ immense gratitude in receiving these gifts. When the tourist economy collapsed in Senegal due to the pandemic, most jewelers returned home to Niger, Mali and other neighboring countries. The Toolbox Initiative continues to support the jewelers by helping fund the building of jewelry schools for children, as well as teaching basic French and arithmetic to girls in their homeland villages and communities.

Artist Statement: Slow down, breathe deeply and appreciate mother nature. As I walk through my garden and the streets in our neighborhood the wonder of nature is always present and always changing. A garden stimulates our senses and anchors time. Color, texture, taste, fragrance, shape and shadows. Seed to leaves, to flowers, to fruit and back to seeds. My garden evokes memories of my grandparent’s luscious vegetables and my mother’s flourishing flowers. I am grateful to our gardens for keeping me grounded and providing inspiration every day. The Glorious Garden brooch is an interpretation of a flower in early autumn when the temperature gets crisp, colors fade and shadows get longer.

50% of the sale of this piece will be donated to the beneficiary listed above.