One of a Kind Show


Natural Creators: Get to Know These One of a Kind Makers

03 . 30 . 2023

For many, Nature is the basis of life, and art. We caught up with four artists who will be exhibiting their organic creations at the 2023 One of a Kind Spring Show.

Amanda Pohlman and her sister Olga started their women operated jewelry business, Monarca, in a small city in the southwest of Colombia. Today, they work out of a studio in Stanford, CA creating handmade pieces made from real, ethically sourced butterfly wings, pressed flowers, stones, beads and metals.

Tell us about your unique work.

Amanda: We create unique ethically-sourced butterfly wing jewelry with a technique developed exclusively by trial and error over several years. Our butterflies come from a partnership with a butterfly sanctuary in Peru that sends us the wings once the butterflies have expired naturally. We use mainly polyester resin, gold leaf, 14k or 18k gold filled metals, and sterling silver for our pieces.

What inspired you to create using such delicate materials?

Amanda: At the end of my undergrad in biology, I helped my university conduct research to establish a butterfly house and that was fascinating! Learning about different butterflies showed me a world in which sustainably raising butterflies could help protect our ecosystems and create awareness around diversity. I already started Monarca with my sister but at the time we only worked with pressed flowers. After finding ways to source our butterflies ethically, we incorporated butterfly wings in our products. I love creating and designing new pieces, with the satisfaction that through them we are also showing our customers our biodiversity and a reason to protect our ecosystems.

Is there anything you're especially excited to bring to this year's Spring Show?

Amanda: I am so excited to bring back the rainbow wings from the Madagascan Sunset Moth! We will also finally have new designs with semiprecious stones and sterling silver filigree available again as well as brooches and keychains.

Nelida “Nela” Navarrine creates vibrant, textured and translucent works of art that she describes as a new way to communicate in a language that is not spoken.

Tell us about your creative process.

Nela: My flowers are painted with a painting knife from the bottom up with oil or encaustic between multiple layers of resin. My technique provides a subtle impression of the flower, transparency and uneven edges to the piece.

What led you to pursue a career in art?

Nela: My background and work experience are in designing information systems; I initially started painting as a hobby to help heal a loss. However, when I moved to the US in 2009, I had the space, opportunity and support to share what I loved doing, my art. That is when I decided to start my second career in life as an artist.

What does handmade mean to you? Do you have a most cherished handmade possession?

Nela: Handmade means that part of the heart of the artist is inside the piece. I have a runner handmade by my great grandmother that I cherish.

Laura Cott celebrates the natural world through minimalistic design, expressive details, and the beauty of simplicity in the nature through minimalistic design, expressive details, fine art, watercolor, and illustration.

What led you to become an artist?

Laura: I have always used art to express my emotions, I always drew and designed what I wanted for myself, and it became a way to work out what I wanted to express to others. Art is also a love letter to the beauty around me. I like bringing beauty into the world and bringing it out of others.

What inspires you to create?

Laura: My mood plays a huge role in my creative process. I am also influenced by the seasons, the sunlight and ultimately what is happening in the landscape of the earth seasonally. When I find a subject, a color palette, or even a flower arrangement, I will use that to create a lot of studies and, from the start, build out a collection of similarly inspired works.

What does handmade mean to you? Do you have a most cherished handmade possession?

Laura: Handmade is about the process and problem-solving of whatever you are creating. When you dream something up from an idea and transform it into something tangible and available, you not only have to dream it, but you are physically doing it too. One of my most cherished handmade possessions is a hand knitted quilt from my grandmother.

Carolyn Copper of Copper Range photography draws from her life experiences and environmental knowledge to create striking, sought-after wildlife and nature focused art works.

Why did you become an artist?

Carolyn: My love and respect for Nature. I worked for the federal government for 25 years and retired as an Assistant Inspector General at the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. In my career, I witnessed significant global environmental challenges that are rarely seen or heard of. Now, having learned from that experience, I spend and dedicate my time traveling all over as a wildlife professional, photographer, blogger, podcaster, and artist in order to share beautiful stories and images that showcase the beauty of our natural world.

Is there anything you're especially excited to bring to this year's Spring Show?

Carolyn: I'm very excited to bring my work to Chicago! I'm originally from the Midwest and Chicago is an incredible city that I love to visit. Shoppers at the Spring show are going to see my newest and most eye-catching pieces.

What does handmade mean to you?

Carolyn: A seller has added their own creative process to the product they sell, and is integral to or solely responsible for designing and creating what they sell.

Meet these makers and hundreds more at the One of a Kind Spring Show, April 28-30!