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Kate Jones and Life on the Water

Artist and designer Kate Jones of Ursa Major shares a few words about the nautical life.


"I often wonder how my upbringing of life on a sailboat and life in coastal New England has affected my work.  I had a period when I was first starting out with the line where I played with very literal interpretations of that life- cast seashells, monkeys fist knots, and wedding bands carved to look like old rope. Mostly they were brought on by requests from fellow sailors. I was once again spending a big chunk of time living on the boat. Art imitates life I guess. The work was good and well received but the feeling was too novelty to me, and too predictable. 


I wanted to break it down to its bare bones and that life's essence. Ultimately my life on the water meant simplicity and clarity- the room to think, uncomplicated views, and functionality.  I may not have been as conscience of it at the time but now, more than ever, I see that ethos in my work. 


I am reminded of those essential truths everytime I return to the water. I write this sitting on the beach in one of my former water-side homes, Provincetown, Cape Cod. And now, having been almost eight years since I first made those literal interpretations, I feel safe to return to some of those ideas and apply those principles. Having previewed a portion of the newest collection, but still needing to finish the remainder, I find myself once again calmed by the effects of the water and the simplified life of this place and with the sudden clarity to know with assurance where the remaining work is going. 


Time for a swim."






All photos by Kate Jones.