Jessica Kagan Cushman

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Designer Bio

As the daughter of renowned furniture designer Vladimir Kagan and needlework queen Erica Wilson, design runs in Jessica Kagan Cushman's veins. It only natural that Jessica Cushman's work is totally unique and fresh. Having learned scrimshaw from her father, who took up the craft in the 1960's in Nantucket, Jessica has taken the artform to a new (and slightly un-orthodox) level - creating scrimshawed antique ivory bracelets that lie somewhere between a tattoo and a bumper sticker. Historically practiced by sailors on long journeys hunting for whales, scrimshaw traditionally depicted whaling scenes, ships, women and scenes copied from magazines of the day. Jessica takes quotes and phrases, from movies, literature and in some cases, New York graffiti and transcribes them via scrimshaw onto fossilized wooly mammoth ivory bracelets - combing a venerable traditional craft with wry, modern wit. Under her mother's tutelage Jessica learned to embroider and knit at an early age. She has applied these skills to jewelry-making and now creates amazing knitted scarf/necklaces out of 14kt gold and silver chain dripping with semi-precious stones and pearls; and embroidered pieces on double-faced cashmere embellished with pearls, gems and 24kt gold thread. Jessica graduated from Smith College with a BA in Art History. She has studied jewelry making at the Jewelry Arts Institute in New York and the Silvermine Guild in Connecticut. [READ MORE]

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