SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 22, March 2017 - Page 83

Born in Croatia, Sylvia Gottwald studied fine art and design in Italy and Canada prior to earning her Masters of Architecture from Harvard University and completing her post-graduate in City Planning at MIT.

In 2000, following her long, successful career practicing architecture and urban planning locally and internationally, she turned her attention and efforts to the gems of the oceans.

Ms. Gottwald transforms the natural beauty and iridescence of nacre/mother-of-pearl and pearls into contemporary wearable art. Her avant-garde designs integrate nacre with precious metals, semi-precious gems, and edgy modern

materials such as rubber and steel.

Her interest in nacre is not only it’s inherent beauty, but also the importance of oysters to our marine ecosystems. The pearly oysters filter polluting nitrogen and plankton, protecting the oceans, and adding to the sustainability of life on our planet. In addition to their precious nacreous shell, they create a mysterious gem- the pearl- the only gem created by a living organism.

Ms. Gottwald’s growing list of published work includes the covers of European Vogue, Elle Decor, Ornament, Home & Design, exhibited at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Palais du Louvre (Paris); Musée de la Nacre (Paris/Meru); Museum of Modern Art (New York City); Museum of Contemporary Art Kampa (Prague); Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC); and the International Museum. Photo: SYLVIA GOTTWALD, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2012. Photograph by Domagoj Blazevic. of Applied Arts (Turin).

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March 2017 Art & Culture

SEVENSEAS - 83

I often use Pteria Mabe pearls, sometimes framed in oxidized silver, a great juxtaposition of man made, almost industrial looking material against exquisitely rich hue of the pearls.

The necklace featured in this article is made of Blister pearls, which is a Mabe pearl with some surrounding shell material.