Brandi Couvillion's Profile

About

Hailing from New Orleans, my creative side has always been inspired by the built environment around me and the various states of its decay, as well as the fleeting ephemera we often fail to appreciate each day.

The mixed media and jewelry lines are composed, quite literally, of lost fragments from the past - from remnants of Victorian era shoes to porcelain dolls excavated from old world privies with a local salvage expert.

My jewelry work comprises metal etchings of historic New Orleans maps - some dating from as early as the 1700s culled from archives - make permanent an ephemeral aspect of our city’s history.

From raw sheets of metal they transform into jewelry through an intensive, handcrafted process involving heat image transfers, various etchants, patinas and polishes, as well as…

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  • Female
  • Born on January 29
  • Joined December 30, 2009

Favorite materials

Historic Maps, Antique doll parts dug from privies of New Orleans, Skeleton Keys, Antique Escutcheons or Key Holes, Found and Dug Objects

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BrandiCouvillion
Brandi Couvillion Studio

About

Hailing from New Orleans, my creative side has always been inspired by the built environment around me and the various states of its decay, as well as the fleeting ephemera we often fail to appreciate each day.

The mixed media and jewelry lines are composed, quite literally, of lost fragments from the past - from remnants of Victorian era shoes to porcelain dolls excavated from old world privies with a local salvage expert.

My jewelry work comprises metal etchings of historic New Orleans maps - some dating from as early as the 1700s culled from archives - make permanent an ephemeral aspect of our city’s history.

From raw sheets of metal they transform into jewelry through an intensive, handcrafted process involving heat image transfers, various etchants, patinas and polishes, as well as hammer forming, ultimately becoming small, wearable archives in suspension.
Etching this subject matter creates an inherent tension as it removes material to uncover the past. Through the permanence of etching, the metal immortalizes the delicate silhouettes of grand homes, female asylums and cotton warehouses.

These archived images preserve New Orleans’ history and culture, particularly the city’s architectural history. In detailing the landscape’s evolution over time - from the types of structures occupying plots of land radiating from the old banks of the river, to the trade routes through the vast, outlying swamp - this work showcases the delicate nature of our environment and emphasizes the importance of preservation.

My Ephemera line is inspired by evanescent objects crossing our paths daily, featuring embossed impressions of leaves, feathers, petals and antique laces, which leave whispering traces on a metal canvas. These boldly interpreted designs also highlight antique escutcheons and hinges, bringing forth the recurring importance of architectural history.

My Privy’s Porcelain Line is created with the fragments of porcelain plate ware preserved in century old privies, as well as the river banks. The intricate patterns adorning the pieces range from delicate floral designs to stunning landscapes. I’ve been able to identify pieces from the late 1700’s through the 1800’s imported from England and throughout Europe. When creating these pieces, I prefer to meditate on the broken shape - as I find it - and use a varnish to encapsulate the edges where one can often see the remnants of history where it originally broke, causing it to fall from use. Therefore, when creating adornment, I am celebrating its existence, as well as the state in which it fell from use.

Ultimately, my found object pieces create memorials to historic homes which are soon to be a memory, as well as to the elapsed history of the countless inhabitants who created the city we enjoy today. This is all accomplished while recognizing the symbolism within my own existence - with the fleeting items that pass through our world - and my contribution to the city.

My work blurs the lines between the past and the present, weaving the historic antique with contemporary chic…

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