Art and design have always been an integral part of my life. As a native of New Orleans, I had many opportunities to explore and indulge in the decadence and diversity of the art, architecture, and culture of my city. I began transforming these influences into a reality after the city experienced the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I then found myself living in another city, in a small apartment with my family. Similar to the origins of lace in the Victorian era when women were confined to the indoors without other avenues of expression, I began to take apart, reconstruct, and ultimately create new pieces of jewelry. My passion for manipulating materials, as well as the notion that nothing is static, became the driving forces behind Construct Jewelry.
In the years following Katrina, I pursued my passion to help others, and obtained my Masters in Social Work from Tulane. While I worked as a therapist, providing grief and trauma counseling to children in New Orleans, I continued to create and regenerate pieces of jewelry from the past, which might otherwise have been left unappreciated, unworn, and forgotten. In many ways, I embraced the similarities of both my creative processes in jewelry designing and building relationships with my clients, realizing that both focus on recognizing, celebrating, and cultivating vitality in those people or things that seem to have no opportunity to change. Each of my pieces is original and made with vintage parts, demonstrating the striking transformation from what was to what can be.
If you are interested in collaborating in a custom design, please don't hesitate to contact me. Services I offer include custom heirloom designs, using a personal piece from you own collection and custom bridal designs.
Lauren Schonekas is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Uptown neighborhood.
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