Metalsmith Magazine: Anna Johnson: Honoring Nature Through Adornment


Anna Johnson creates arresting work that often features the bones of small animals: mandibles, vertebrae, teeth, skulls, and in one case, the ear bone of a freshwater drum fish. ln some of her most striking compositions, bones are combined with ethically sourced precious and semi-precious stones and bronzed plant life found leaves, twigs, and fronds. Most dramatic are the skull pieces, which can elicit starkly divergent reactions, from shock to awe at their "unexpected beauty," in the words of collector and artist Dominique Bereiter, who owns many ofJohnson's pieces. 0ne necklace, Lepori (hare), features a rabbit skull flanked by winglike shards of black kyanite, chocolate moonstone, hematite, and silver. "lt's gorgeous," says Bereiter, who believes her background in science may predispose her to the work. "My artist friends like such pieces," she says; "others don't say much."

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