Reason and Madness is the conceptual theme that underlies designer Laura Bundschuh’s approach to jewelry—it’s also the name of her newest line. Men and women are free to accessorize sensibly with a single item or amplify the effect by layering multiple pieces into a frenetic fashion statement. “Repeated elements within a collection allow for an abundance of mix and match variations,” adds Laura. Sterling circles, balls, and bands brand her initial compilation: Waiting Games. The collection is not only unified, it is playful, and even therapeutic. “It’s soothing to spin the sterling ball around while you’re waiting,” she explains. “It’s like a game—a waiting game.”
Art mirrors life in this instance as Laura has been caught in a waiting game for the past year. Anticipation builds as she is now only weeks away from the launch of her first Reason and Madness collection. “Anticipation breeds excitement and that’s just what I need to effectively market the work to boutiques and retail outlets,” comments Laura. Preliminary response has been exceptionally upbeat. People are impressed with the industrial feel, the clean lines, and the solid craftsmanship. The work is contemporary, minimalist, and different.
“Waiting Games may be perceived as ‘different’ because I draw my inspiration from unexpected sources,” confides Laura. The flagship piece, a stunning choker featuring a sterling ring encompassed by rectangular silver bands, originated with a treasured childhood memory—horseback riding in the countryside. The designer captures the essence of a horse’s bit and transforms it into an object of beauty. This simple act resulted in a burgeoning online presence and the impetus for an entire collection. Currently available on Instagram and Tumblr, Laura’s uniquely styled choker has attracted a host of compliments and clients. The necklace was so popular that she was driven to recreate its success in a polished collection incorporating analogous design elements.
Reason and Madness may be Laura’s first professional line, but this young talent has been creating jewelry all her life. Her proclivity for crafting fashion accessories began in childhood with a fascination for beading. This pleasant diversion led to a paid position in a Victoria bead shop, where she gained skill in designing wire-wrapped arrowheads and crystals. Even then, Laura was a phenomenon. She never had to work at finding clients or stores to purchase or stock her bohemian creations. Customers and boutiques would contact her.
With this kind of reception, the hobbyist decided to take her work to the next level by getting the proper training at design school. The techniques garnered through a comprehensive education in fabricating, forging, and casting catapulted her career into the major leagues. The ultimate highlight was obtaining recognition from US retail outlets including Backtalk Independent Design in Portland. And no wonder, with such brilliantly original creations like this quartz crystal masterpiece of a ring. “It was impossible to capture the full rainbow of colors inside this stone with a photo,” says Laura. “If you’re in Portland, check it out at Backtalk.”
Once captivated by crystals, the artist has now refined her vision into a playful statement of minimalistic abandon. Movement adds entertainment value and sterling infuses a contemporary elegance. Laura is intent on creating a cohesive brand complete with new logo, business card, and website. Watch for it at www.reason-and-madness.com. “I’m really excited about the new collection,” she reveals. “It’s been a full year in the making.” Paradoxically, the waiting game is almost over and just about to begin!