Driving Bay Area Design With Organic Materials


Bonnie Heras was raised among farmers in the Sacramento basin, but her bucolic upbringing hasn’t stopped her from delving into more man-made manipulations as a metalsmith and jewelry designer. She pursues her passion for all things metal as one of the founding members of Oakland-based Five Ton Crane (the artists’ collective made famous by installations such as the 40-foot-tall Steampunk Tree House that reigned over Burning Man in 2007). She juxtaposes the raw substance with materials possessing an organic quality, such as the black silicone rubber that she layers onto the sterling silver necklaces and earrings in her jewelry line, Bonde.

Rubber also stars in this California sculpture, which features the state’s shape recessed into a three-by-six-foot frame. Heras wove sliced-up bicycle tires to represent roads and the very utilitarian function of movement. “California is so busy,” says Heras. “It’s about action, direction and the setting of trends; when I think of that, I think of roads.” The girl who grew up steeped in farm culture has internalized the two faces of her home state: one, a place of lush fields of fruit and vegetables; the other, an incubator of the frenetic movement and growth that California is known for. “We keep reinventing ourselves here,” says Heras. “We’re making new things happen.”

This was originally published in California Home + Design’s Winter 2013 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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