Artist Ian Henderson, owner of Zoa Chimerum, moved around on military bases in Europe as a child with the majority of his adolescent years spent in Germany. At the age of 13, when his parents moved back to the states, they landed in Kansas and it was a cultural shock to Ian. His peers in high school made life difficult for him in ways he wasn’t accustomed too, unable to fit into this new society he withdrew into his artwork, honing his skills throughout his teenage years. After school he studied jewelry design and metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design and also at Mass Art in Boston.
Inspired by German Biologist Ernst Haeckel, who was one of the first scientists to study invertebrate species under a microscope and famously sketched everything he discovered, Ian found himself drawn to nature. “It’s interesting that the things we are traditionally repulsed by, when viewed in great detail, have elements within them that to most eyes are extremely beautiful—for example, the compound eye of a butterfly, the delicate veining of a dragonfly’s wings, the curvature and fractal rhythms of an uncoiling fern.”
Ian’s favorite materials, shown in the two pictures above, are created with an aluminum core covered in re-purposed rubber tubing. He is talented in many ways, his sketches and sculptures are beautiful. His blog is fun to read, loaded with images of all he has accomplished over the years. Here is an excerpt from his writings: “I unpacked my old Wacom digital stylus pad recently and spent an evening in Adobe Illustrator making abstract doodles. I broke the drawing into 6 layers, and worked from the front to the back, so that each new drawing appeared underneath the one that preceded it.
Then I separated out all the layers into different files, and used them to generate cut-paths for the laser cutter. The end result is a kind of shadow box with a layered latticework drawing inside it.” Here is the actual image of the shadow box described.
To read more about Ian, I suggest a blog written by Clara Lieu titled Etsy Friday: Ian Henderson. It’s a wonderful interview covering his day-to-day busy schedule as an artist and business owner, his inspirations and his encouraging advice to new artists. You can buy Zoa Chimerum Jewelry on Etsy and find him at many fine shows and events across the country.