Greetings! My name is June and I am the maker behind MOTH & TWIG Mosaic Art Jewelry. Thank you for stopping by.
I was born in San Francisco, CA but lived all over the Bay Area until the late 1960s. At that time my family relocated to the Philippines. It was there that I became enthralled with the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Though we lived on a naval base, our surroundings were natural and untamed. When I wasn't in school, I spent my days exploring the wilds around me. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my experiences in the Philippines would set the stage for how I would view life and art. We spent a fair amount of time living in the Philippines, but our time was cut short due to my brother's chronic illness. During the height of the Viet Nam war we found ourselves on a medi-vac plane with injured soldiers heading to Maryland. It was the dead of winter, though I really wouldn't know what that meant until we landed in Maryland. Snow! Ice! Where were the monkeys? It was a harsh transition, one that required shoes and a coat; two items that I was no longer accustomed to.
We spent our first week or so living in an unheated Quonset hut until we were able to secure permanent housing, though permanent housing is an oxymoron when you're a navy brat. The one saving grace was that our area in Maryland was in the middle of a 7-year locust infestation. Nature, all around me but admittedly, a far cry from pythons, geckoes, wild pigs, and monkeys.
We spent the next years moving; forever moving. Up and down the California coast, Washington state, and Tennessee to name a few. Washington state was by far one of my favorite areas to live, thus my love for the Pacific Northwest. Once again, I spent many days exploring, only this time with my little brother in tow. How I loved taking him on Whidbey Island hikes, through the forest to the waters of the Puget Sound.
My adult years have been spent pursuing various endeavors. I spent 15 years working in the fashion industry on production and design. It was a fun and creative time. I attended college part-time and eventually earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and biological anthropology. I am certain my time in the Philippines led me to study anthropology with a focus on primatology. Later studies culminated in a Masters Degree in Counseling/Marriage Family Therapy. I raised a wonderful son during this time and we remain close to this day. Other than motherhood, my two main focuses throughout my life have been nature and art, with the latter incorporating various forms including improvisational theater, screen printing, fashion design, jewelry arts, and mosaic arts.
Around the year 2002, I took a month-long trip to Barcelona Spain where I spent time exploring the city and, of course, the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. My love for mosaics blossomed in Barcelona. Upon returning to the Bay Area, I promptly enrolled in classes at the Institute of Mosaic Art and ended up studying mosaics for years under the tutelage of many wonderful teachers.
In the summer of 2015, I moved to Portland with my partner Andrew. My son had moved to Portland 12 years earlier so I wanted to live closer to him. Since that time, I have been actively involved in the arts. I find that I am happiest when I'm working with my hands, manipulating materials into small, wearable works of art. I utilize various materials including smalti, glass, millefiori, filati, and ceramic. Fashioning miniature art pieces into jewelry combines my loves for jewelry and mosaic arts. I combine traditional mosaic techniques with daily experimentation. Working small scale requires patience, a steady hand, keen eyesight, and an array of interesting tools.
I am inspired by nature and strong graphic patterns. I tend to favor saturated colors and often work in color palettes inspired by some of my favorite regions including the Pacific Northwest, the Southwestern U.S, the Mediterranean, and the jungles of Central America. I travel to Costa Rica often and am currently working on a collection that is inspired by the flora and fauna of the area. I hope to live in Costa Rica one day. We purchased a small plot of land at the tip of the Southern Nicoya Peninsula. A piece of land where jungle meets ocean. Land where the monkeys frolic, agouti scamper, and coati explore. It is there that I truly hope to combine my love of nature with art.
- June Martin
First and foremost, I am a mosaic artist. I also love to create unusual jewelry, so one day I decided to combine the two loves. Voila! Moth & Twig Mosaic Art Jewelry was born!
Style & Quality
I incorporate a variety of materials into my work. Sourcing the world for intriguing and high-quality materials is half the fun! Some of the materials I use include earthenware ceramic tiles that I source from Morocco, smalti, filato, mosaic gold, various pewter embellishments, stained glass, Italian millefiori, and beads to name a few. I'm always finding new materials to play with so who knows what I'll incorporate into my designs next. I use various bases including solid pewter plated in .999 fine silver, pure copper, sterling silver overlay brass, copper plated pewter, and occasionally, solid sterling silver. I do not use leather cords as my shop is an animal cruelty free shop. Ear wires are solid sterling silver.
Every piece is designed and created by me at my studio in Portland, Oregon. I pride myself in my craftsmanship. I use a variety of specialized tools to help me create my miniature mosaics including magnifying wear, tweezers, picks, a glass grinder, files, rubbing stones, just to name a few. The work is detailed and intricate. That said, I love the imperfections that are inherent in many of the materials I use. It is this combination of meticulous and imperfection that I feel makes for interesting and beautiful pieces.