Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Olfactory Chic: Aroma Molecule Necklaces from Surly-Ramics

Amy Davis Roth is the creatrix behind Surly-Ramics, a thoughtful line of aromatic jewelry inspired by science and nature. Roth's creations are living portraits of aroma that educate the eyes and nose of the beholder. A scent molecule is stamped on the necklace's partially glazed front which illustrates what can only be sensed by the nose; the aroma of an essential oil containing the molecule presented on the pendant.

Glass Petal Smoke asked Ms. Roth what inspired her to fuse science and scent in her jewelry designs. She responded with imagination, clarity and conviction:
"I am a huge advocate and fan of science.  I am constantly seeking new information to incorporate into my work and try to find ways to share what I learn, and to encourage education with my jewelry. Chemistry, specifically molecular structures, seemed like an obvious source in which to find ideas for my art projects. I often think of art as another way of investigating the natural word and if one is going to turn a critical eye upon the objects in nature one (I would assume) would want to understand how that something works down to the tiniest detail. So molecular structures were an obvious stop on my scientific exploration of the world around me. I also think that the geometric structures of molecules and chemical compounds are quite beautiful in their simplicity and are perfect for artistic applications.

The idea of adding scent was actually a simultaneous decision that happened along with making the scented jewelry. My primary goal as an artist and jewelry designer is to find ways of encouraging people to learn about science and to celebrate the scientific body of knowledge and geek culture. I knew that the ceramic material I use as my medium for making jewelry, when left unglazed, is porous and could in theory absorb a scented oil.
My next thought was how I could express the science behind the scent visually while staying away from any unproven aromatherapy claims. The aroma chemicals themselves, written out, seemed like a perfect solution. I thought it would be fantastic to actually be able to see what you smelled, and I hoped the viewer might be inspired to learn more about the chemical later, or to at least make the connection that there is more to scent than just the "smell" alone. I added drawings of flowers and the other plants as design options later, and will be adding new scents and designs in the coming months."
Surly-Ramics currently offers beta-Damascenone (found in rose), jasmone (found in jasmine), linalool (found in lavender), patchoulol (found in patchouli) and vanillin (found in vanilla). The smaller oval pendants are priced at $48.00. The larger circular pendants, which can hold more essential oil as their surface area is larger, are priced at $29.95. All of the ceramic pendants in the Surly-Ramics line are surprisingly lightweight. Each is accompanied by a bottle of essential oil which is used to infuse the pendant. Warning: the temptation to buy more than one necklace is not limited to perfumistas. 

Opening a box from Surly-Ramics is like opening a geek's dream present. The carefully packed order arrives with an instructional comic rolled like a scroll in an unstoppered test tube. A unique quote printed on a slender slip of paper can also be found inside the parcel. It looks like it came out of a giant fortune cookie, but the words are more substantive. Glass Petal Smoke received this compassionate and contemplative quote: "Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not."--Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist).