Let’s hear it for the recession! Not a popular sentiment, I know. But if you’re looking for a silver lining… I can’t tell you how many artists I know who, laid off from their day jobs, decided to start something new on their own – something amazing!
Ursula Manaf, the DC native behind EarthSeaWarrior is one such person. A photographer and Photo Editor by training and trade, Ursula was forced to leave Manhattan and the publishing industry shortly after the economic collapse. DIY projects around her new Brooklyn loft and a trip to Mayan Riviera became the inspiration for the next phase of her life: EarthSeaWarrior, “a unique boutique specializing in the reconstruction of paleontological artifacts and industrial relics.”
Whether left behind by nature or machine each “specimen” receives a new life in Ursula’s hands: unexpected enhancements like gold teeth on a saber tooth cat skull, or neon green dye on porcupine quills. Utterly unique, her revitalized curios have quickly become quite the conversation piece in many an avant garde home.
Among my favorites are Ursula’s revitalized industrial lamps. The juxtaposition between these old, utilitarian devices and the almost luxurious, neon nylon cords is simply stunning. Since color and the exciting tension it can create when paired with contrasting materials appears to be the theme this week, I thought they were perfect items to share with you today.
Also, I just had to share these amazing studio shots (that Ursula was kind enough to shoot for me) because they’re just so wild! What a gorgeous, light-filled space. But what I really love is getting a glimpse of all the elements that go into EarthSeaWarrior creations. Skulls, succulents, crystals, and vials?! Oh my! I think that the true genius of Ursula’s work is that it definitely flirts with an element of “mad scientist” without actually being too crazy. Looking at these photos, I can practically see the gears turning, waiting for life-giving lightening to strike!