Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Modified work

Due to an injury I sustained several months ago I find myself on "modified work". No repeated or heavy grasping with either hand for me so metalsmithing is definitely out. This idea of modified work paired with my recent attendance at the SNAG 2009 conference (where alternative materials took the main stage) has started the wheels a turning. What will the future of contemporary jewelry bring us and has everything really already been done?

My first intuition is to look into paper. Paper has always been an affinity of mine, my mother laughed when I used that word instead of "obsession". From a very early age I would beg my mom to take me into the paper stores where I would spend a ridiculous amount of time touching every stationary set and journal in sight, agonizing over what to choose as my one and only purchase. To this day I have a large section of the guest room closet devoted to my paper finds, each sheet waiting for the moment that I will find just the right project or occasion for its use. Nothing is better than paper. The smell, the texture, the endless possibilities of creative outcomes that could result from every piece.

So today I start my research. What are people doing with paper today, how can I modify those ideas and bring my own personality and paper obsession onto the scene of contemporary jewelry? Only time will tell and in the interim take a look at what's going on now in the world of paper and design:

Who knew there was a university dedicated to paper!

Interested in making some paper beads?

Paper in contemporary art:

Those are just a few of the resources I've found in a very brief search into the world of paper design. I can't wait to see where this epiphany takes me, and I can't help but wonder, what took me so long...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Metamorphosis, 2008

Much of my work addresses nature and abstraction and on a more subtle level it also deals with humanities attempts to define, control, and manipulate that which is found in nature. With this piece I decided to illustrate the idea of manipulation more clearly. Three brooches, all abstractions, lead the viewer through the transformation of a natural object into a “useful” tool. The tool in fact has no use at all and is meant to signify the environmental degradation that often comes with manufacturing as well as the devaluation of that which is natural, in this case the moth.

My interest in this topic stems from my artistic and scientific background. When asked why I chose to study both Art and Science, often by individuals that feel they are polar opposites, my response has always been that I view them as one in the same: having a core emphasis on observation and the understanding of the world around us. While this piece has taken on a more literal form of the ideas I often work with, I was also very aware of the irony of the process. I was using man made tools to create abstract forms generated from observation as I attempted to define and articulate my own concept.