Cynthia Clearwater came to jewelry after a 30 year academic career in environmental design and museum studies. This background has strongly influenced her jewelry practice, and she enjoys developing her work in collaboration with specialist researchers. Her work has a conceptual focus, aiming to create jewelry that functions as an analogy for particular environmental issues.
For her Ouch! An invasive species choker piece, Clearwater collaborated with ecologist Dr. Kimberly La Pierre, who is researching the Gorse plant featured in the work. Native to Scotland, Gorse has become an invasive species in both the USA and Australia, choking out native plants. Clearwater’s piece, like Gorse, is a choker and a menace to that which it comes in contact with, yet to Clearwater they both retain a certain beauty.