Maru Almeida - Fireflies

This piece was part of the Yukata Jewelry Show 2022 exhibition. Learn more and view the entire collection HERE.

Artist: Maru Almeida
Materials: sterling silver, 24K gold, steel
Dimensions: 1.75" x 2.5" pendant, 21" chain

Artist Statement: As a child I remember seeing a firefly for the first time, it seemed like magic. I did not grow up in a place where they were common and the experience left me full of wonder. I learned abut them and the science behind their glow, but in my young mind it was all still magic and I would not change my mind. The fabric included a description of fireflies representing the souls of fallen soldiers as well as a metaphor of passionate love in poetry. It is not surprising that fireflies would evoke such symbolism in Japanese culture.
As I made this piece, I tried to capture that memory and preserve it, just like my plans to hold on to the fireflies a little longer as a child. Their glowing bellies are made of gold and wings are silver, both fused to the darkened steel background. 

Artist Bio: Maru Almeida was born and raised in Mexico growing up surrounded by a rich silversmithing tradition and the work of local artisans. Her curiously of the artistic transformation of metal guided her to pursue both a BFA and an MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Oregon, respectively. Through her education she learned the necessary skills for working with precious materials as well as exploring non-traditional materials to incorporate on her one-of-a-kind work. In her work she develops ideas exploring movement, tactility and discovery through the senses; always looking for a true connection to the work through the body. Maru has been working as an artist and professional jeweler for more that 15 years and has taught at several institutions including the University of Oregon and the Seattle University. She also teaches private lessons at her Seattle studio. Maru’s work has been featured in Metalsmith Magazine and is part of the jewelry collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon. Her wedding rings have been published in the book "500 Wedding Rings" by Lark Books.