The Artist

Artist’s Statement

My work is inspired from nature and tree life that is found in the swamps and marshes of the South. I specifically draw inspiration from the swamps and bayous of Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Alabama, where I have had the privilege of traveling and living during the formative years of my life.

Experiencing the many different environments and lifestyles of the South has had a strong impact on my life and my work. I have found the various shapes and forms that once surrounded me now emerging from within me, weaving their way through my work. The trees and vegetation that grow in and around the water have definitely been the strongest influence. Old cypress trees expose more of their root structure due to the water that lies in the swamps. The complex roots exposed due to the erosion of running river water have stimulated many of my ideas.

I find the forms in nature provide a strong, interesting and inspirational library of ideas to my creations. I have interpreted these concepts into my series of functional designs of jewelry and hollowware. I enjoy the variations of fluid shapes and the mysterious forms that surround these trunks, creating signature formations, where no side or vantage point is the same.

Trees provide inspiration in the winter time with their barren branches exposing their fluid silhouette and forms. The evening shadows cast along the ground create multiple visual sensations.

The Bromeliads of the Florida everglades have had the greatest effect on my work of any plant. I was first struck by their graceful growth patterns, as they attach themselves to the sides of trees rather than growing independently from the ground. In some of my work, I have tried to present the strong fibers of the plant and the movement they possess by using the rich colors of gold and silver tubing.

I seek to infuse the life force of the wetlands’ flora into unique metal designs that capture the essence of nature.

Peter Emerson earned his Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture from the University of Mississippi in 1992 and Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University in 1996.  

Emerson has studied art and jewelry making throughout the US, and exhibited his work for the Worship Company of Goldsmiths Exhibition in London, England.  Peter has continued to study and teach at a lengthy list of university workshops on jewelry and design, watch making, sculpture, blacksmithing and 3D design.  

Emerson is constantly expanding his artistic talents into new endeavors including wood engraving, guitar making and fine watch design.  The Peter Emerson Silversmith Gallery is open most weekends at 205 East Main Street, Brenham, Texas, 979-251-7747.